The Travis County Commissioners court endorsed three separate settlements against makers and distributors of pharmaceutical opioids at a meeting Feb. 8.
Commissioners received a briefing on Travis County's case against Purdue Pharma, a lawsuit filed in 2018. In the lawsuit, Travis County and other plaintiffs alleged that the opioid companies “spread false and deceptive statements about the risks and benefits of long-term opioid use” and sought up to $100 million in damages and penalties to protect the interest of its citizens.
Travis County commissioners discussed settlements against several defendants, including Endo Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharmaceuticals and other opioid distributors discussed at the Feb. 8 meeting. The settlement agreements against the companies would result in millions of dollars paid to the state.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton finalized a $225 million settlement with Teva Pharmaceuticals on Feb. 7. The company resolved to pay $150 million to the state over 15 years and provide $75 million worth of Narcan, a medication used to treat opioid overdoses in emergencies.
Local governments such as Travis County can apply to receive portions of the settlement money to combat opioid addiction in their own communities.
"I want us to commit to finding the funds to support the staff to aggressively apply for this grant money to bring as much relief to this community as we can on addiction,” Commissioner Ann Howard said. “There’s a lot of people and families suffering over this.”