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ACHI Health Policy Director Discusses Proposed Guidelines for Spending Opioid Settlement Funds

September 16, 2022

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ACHI Staff

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Arkansas has begun receiving part of its $216 million share of a $26 billion national settlement with drug distributors McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Cardinal Health and drug manufacturer Johnson & Johnson over their roles in the opioid epidemic. The Arkansas Advocate published an interview this week with ACHI Health Policy Director Craig Wilson about a white paper he authored that proposes principles to guide Arkansas’s spending of the opioid settlement funds.

As noted in the story, recommendations in the white paper draw on principles adopted by multiple organizations and include: developing a fair and transparent system for deciding how to spend the settlement money, not spending the funds all at once, funding programs that are backed by research, investing in youth prevention efforts, focusing on racial equity, and helping prepare the healthcare system for future challenges.

“Hopefully, some of these funds can be used for monitoring of what’s going on in the healthcare system and what’s going on in the environment to better understand what the next new crisis is going to be,” Wilson tells reporter Antoinette Grajeda.