Drug Settlement Windfall Destined for Special Fund

The town has received more than $85,000 as its share of national settlements with drug manufacturers and pharmacies.

Bedford Finance Director David Castellarin said Tuesday in an email, “The plan as of today is to have an article at the Special Town Meeting to establish a special purpose stabilization fund.” 

He said the town has received $86,680.63.

The windfall emanates from the state’s share of nationwide financial settlements with several companies. The money represents “abatement of the harms caused by the opioid epidemic,” according to the state Department of Public Health.

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The money must be dedicated to resources for substance abuse prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery. 

Heidi Porter, Director of Health and Human Services, summarized the funding at Monday’s meeting of the Board of Health. There was no discussion of specific spending targets, though Porter said, “We do have a need for education and getting Narcan into the community.”

Porter noted that there will be additional settlement payments over the next few years, but in smaller amounts. So, it might make the most impact for towns in the region to consolidate their funds for purposes that would benefit multiple towns, she said.

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