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Federally Recognized Tribes will get part of a $150 million settlement from opioid manufacturer Hikma Pharmaceuticals for its part in the nationwide opioid crisis. 

The settlement includes $115 million cash and $35 million worth of opioid overdose reversal drugs. It will be distributed among state, local and Tribal governments over the next 18 years.

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It is unclear how much of the settlement will be allocated to federally recognized tribes. 

 To date, settlements between Tribes and opioid manufacturers and distributors have reached $1.5 billion.

More than 103,000 Americans died in opioid-related incidents in 2022, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s up more than 200% since 2000, according to CDC data.   

While Americans of all races and ethnicities have been affected, the proliferation of opioid deaths has disproportionately affected Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, especially Indigenous people. In 2020, Native Americans’ opioid mortality increased 39% over the prior year — the second-highest rate of increase behind African Americans, according to the CDC. 

 The crisis, once driven by the overprescription of opioids with little oversite, is now underscored by the proliferation of fentanyl — a highly lethal synthetic opioid — in the drug supply.

 As Indian Country contends with deadly overdoses, Tribes are utilizing settlement funds to implement culturally-centered medication-assisted treatment and harm reduction. 

 The Hikma deal was negotiated by the attorneys general of New York, California, Delaware, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia, according to an announcement by New York Attorney General Letitia James. 

James said in her announcement that Hikma was "part of an industry that flooded the country with dangerous opioids, profiting off the products that have caused our current national public health crisis." 

"While this settlement won't fully repair the devastation opioids have caused, the funds we secured will help combat the crisis of addictions and overdoses and help people across the country get the treatment they need," James said. 

In its announcement, Hikma said the deal is not an admission of wrongdoing or liability.

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About The Author
Author: Elyse WildEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Elyse Wild is senior editor for Native News Online and Tribal Business News.