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Watch Now: Hickory council agrees to state plan for opioid funds
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Watch Now: Hickory council agrees to state plan for opioid funds

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The Hickory City Council voted Tuesday to accept the state memorandum of agreement regarding settlement funds from litigation against opioid companies. Funds from the settlement will go toward addressing the opioid epidemic. 

The vote to accept the state memorandum of agreement came after a brief closed-session meeting.

The memorandum outlines how the state will divvy up funds received from the settlement involving opioid distributors McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal and opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson.

North Carolina stands to receive $750 million from the settlement, an amount that could rise to $850 million as proceeds from the bankruptcy of Purdue Pharma are included, according to an explainer put out by the N.C. Department of Justice.

Under the agreement, 80% of these funds would go to local governments for the purpose of addressing various aspects of the opioid epidemic.

City Attorney John Crone said the city initially held off on accepting the agreement because of the way it handled payment of attorney’s fees. The city hired an outside legal team to pursue its litigation against opioid companies.

Following the vote Tuesday night, Crone said the matter had been resolved in a way that satisfied the city.

While the city would have had until December to accept, Crone said it was important for the city to agree before Oct. 1 because doing so allowed the city access to some incentive funds.

Catawba County commissioners voted to accept the agreement in May.

Kevin Griffin is the City of Hickory reporter at the Hickory Daily Record.

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