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Fort Wayne City Council approves mechanism to handle opioid settlement millions

Prescription opioids like OxyContin flooded communities over the past few decades.

Now that Indiana has signed on to a multi-billion dollar settlement between the federal government and opioid producers and distributors, municipalities around the state will be seeing some of that money.

Fort Wayne Deputy Controller Valerie Ahr says the city's settlement money will go into two funds: one with no restrictions, and another used specifically for opioid recovery and treatment efforts.

“It was a $26 billion nationwide settlement with opioid manufacturers and distributors. Indiana will receive $507 million," she said.

Ahr says the Feds are now moving billions of dollars from the litigation to the states.

That money will come to the state in installments over the next 18 years.

A net worth of $5.7 million of it is coming to Fort Wayne with $1.5 million going to the unrestricted fund and $4.8 million going to the restricted fund.

The city has not yet established who will oversee these funds or how the city will use them.

The American Medical Association meanwhile is urging all opioid litigation funds be used to train physicians in opioid treatment.

In a written statement issued Wednesday, AMA officials wrote that, “Not only do patients need counseling and medication to help them with their opioid use disorder, but they also need access to physicians trained in the field.”

Fort Wayne City Council passed the measure on Tuesday 7-0 with two council members not present.

Tony Sandleben joined the WBOI News team in September of 2022.