Commissioners announce $12 million in opioid wave 2 funding

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, March 7, 2023

SALISBURY — Rowan County will receive approximately $12 million in the second wave of the national opioid settlements, the Rowan County Board of Commissioners announced at the Monday meeting.

Wave two settlements stem from national lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Allergan and Teva for their role in the national opioid epidemic. The state of North Carolina will receive more than $600 million over 15 years from those wave two settlements.

The county received approximately $15 million last year in wave one settlements from national opioid lawsuits against drug distributors McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen, and drug manufacturer Johnson & Johnson. Those funds will be distributed to the county over a 15-year period; over the first three years the county will receive a little over $4 million. 

The commissioners unanimously approved a resolution that authorizes execution of opioid settlements between the state of North Carolina and local governments involving proceeds related to the opioid litigation. All eligible local governments in the state — all 100 counties plus 14 municipalities — must approve the resolution to receive full share of payments from the wave two settlements.

According to More Powerful NC, a campaign to raise awareness around the opioid crisis in North Carolina, the settlement funds are anticipated to be received in the second half of the year. The campaign is being led by by North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein and Mandy Cohen, the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

In other action, the commissioners unanimously approved a contract between the county and contracting firm Wharton-Smith Inc., to handle the construction of the West End Plaza Agriculture Center. They also approved a contract with The Bogle Firm to provide architectural and engineering services for the proposed new office facility for the Rowan County Transit System.