Iowa City could opt into $2.95 million national opioid settlement

The city has until April 18 to decide whether or not to opt in.


Braden Ernst

Iowa City City Manager Geoff Fruin speaks at a City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 5, 2022.

Kate Perez, News Editor

The City of Iowa City city manager will decide by April 18 whether or not to opt into a multi-billion national settlement that would give Iowa City up to $2.95 million, Johnson County staff told the Iowa City City Council Tuesday night.

The national opioid settlement includes the pharmaceutical companies Teva and Allergan and the physical pharmacies Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart, which began in late 2022.

If all settlement groups participate and pay the total amount, Johnson County and participating city groups, including Iowa City, will receive the approximate $2.95 million over fifteen years. 

Iowa City City Manager Geoff Fruin’s ability to decide whether Iowa City joins the settlement was approved by the city council Tuesday. 

As previously reported by The Daily Iowan, Johnson County has been previously involved in lawsuits against drug makers and pharmacies involving opioids. 

RELATED: Johnson County presented with opportunity to opt into opioid litigation, potentially win millions in settlement dollars

According to the city council agenda, Fruin was initially allowed by the council in December 2021 to opt into settlement agreements with different pharmaceutical companies McKesson, Cardinal Health, and Amerisource Bergen, alongside manufacturer Jassen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson. 

“The State of Iowa had 100 percent participation from all the participating subdivisions, which resulted in the maximum amount of settlement funds from the 2021 settlements for the State of Iowa and the participating subdivisions,” the document states. 

As city manager responsible for overseeing funding, Fruin was authorized in December 2021 to execute the Iowa Opioid Memorandum of Understanding. This establishes how the money received from opioid settlements will be distributed in the state of Iowa, both for the 2021 settlements and the current one.

If all states and city groups participate, the 2022 national settlement amounts would be: 

  • Teva will pay up to $3.34 billion over 13 years and also provide either $1.2 billion of its generic version of the drug Narcan over 10 years to the groups or $240 million of cash in lieu of providing the product.
  • Allergan will pay up to $2.02 billion over seven years.
  • CVS will pay up to $4.90 billion over 10 years.
  • Walgreens will pay up to $5.52 billion over 15 years.
  • Walmart will pay up to $2.74 billion in 2023, with all of the payments to be made within six years.

The funds from the 2021 and 2022 settlements will be designated for the abatement of the opioid epidemic, according to the document.