Berks County will receive more than $16.3 million over the next two decades from the settlement of a national lawsuit against certain pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors.
The money is part of a larger $26 billion nationwide settlement against the drug companies for their role in fueling the opioid crisis. Of that, Pennsylvania will receive just over $1 billion, and all 67 counties will receive funds. The amount allotted to each county is based on the severity of the crisis.
Berks’ $16.3 million will be received in payments over the next 18 years, with the first installment received in August 2022. The Council on Chemical Abuse (COCA) will allocate that money in accordance with an Opioid Settlement Plan it developed, outlining specific strategies for utilizing the settlement funds. Those strategies are aimed at providing services equitably throughout the county.
In March 2022, the Berks County commissioners authorized COCA to manage and distribute the funds. COCA will work with its existing partners as well as other community organizations and stakeholders in developing appropriate programs to be supported through Opioid Settlement funds.
A process has been developed to apply for Berks Opioid Settlement Funds.