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Website tracks North Carolina’s share of opioid settlement

This Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017 photo shows an arrangement of pills of the opioid oxycodone-acetaminophen in New York.
Patrick Sison

North Carolina will get its first payment in the coming months — about $29 million — in a nationwide settlement with opioid makers and distributors.

Officials from Attorney General Josh Stein’s office provided an update on the settlement this week to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services.

About 85% of the funds will go to all 100 counties and 17 cities and towns. Local governments have flexibility on how they can spend that money: “high impact” services like treatment, court diversion and equipping law enforcement with the overdose-reversing drug naloxone, or longer-term projects to prevent opioid addiction.

Agencies must post annual reports showing how the money will be spent. All that information will be available at

The website already has a county-by-county breakdown of local government’s share of the money. It also includes information on “drivers of health” like uninsured rates and incarceration statistics, as well as information on overdose deaths and emergency department visits.   

After the initial settlement payment, the state will receive a payout from Johnson & Johnson sometime this summer. Payments will continue through 2038.

More opioid-related money could flow to North Carolina as cases against pharmacy chains like CVS and Walgreens make their way through the courts.

Bradley George is WUNC's AM reporter. A North Carolina native, his public radio career has taken him to Atlanta, Birmingham, Nashville and most recently WUSF in Tampa. While there, he reported on the COVID-19 pandemic and was part of the station's Murrow award winning coverage of the 2020 election. Along the way, he has reported for NPR, Marketplace, The Takeaway, and the BBC World Service. Bradley is a graduate of Guilford College, where he majored in Theatre and German.
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