Opioid Settlement Planning

(last updated 9/27/22)

Public Health is currently developing a framework for a countywide substance use prevention and response plan that will be used to help identify strategic priorities to prevent overdose deaths and reduce other harms caused by substance use, especially among communities of high need and those who are at increased risk for overdose and substance use disorders in Maricopa County. This planning process will help identify the investments needed to achieve desired outcomes.  

State and county overdose and substance use data, an analysis of existing federal and state grants supporting substance use work in Maricopa County, and input from residents, community partners, and subject matter experts, are among sources that will be used to inform recommendations on strategies and spending priorities. Efforts will be made to align our work with state and local entities to leverage partnerships and funding streams, reduce duplication, and maximize community benefit.

More about this process, including how community input will be collected, will be shared publicly and on this webpage as plans are finalized in early fall 2022.

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One Arizona Agreement

In August 2021, Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced that 90 cities and towns and all 15 counties signed on to a framework called the One Arizona Memorandum of Understanding (now known as the "One Arizona Agreement" to distribute funds across Arizona from national opioid settlements. 

As part of the $26 billion national settlement agreement, Arizona and its political subdivisions will receive $542 million over 18 years. Maricopa County’s Local Government share in the settlement is estimated to be $80 million.

Public Health will serve as the Lead Agency for administration of county funds and will be responsible for arranging payments to municipalities.

The One Arizona Agreement provides funding for programs to prevent overdose deaths and reduce other harms caused by substance use and includes reporting requirements for greater transparency of how money is used. As outlined in the Agreement:

  1. 56% of the total state settlement goes to local governments for opioid abatement programs
  2. 44% of the total settlement goes to a State fund for opioid abatement programs
  3. Funds must be spent in accordance with approved, nationally recognized strategies to pay for future costs incurred by the State and local governments to address the opioid epidemic. Approved uses include expenses related to the treatment of opioid use disorder, support for people in treatment and recovery, support for people who have or are at risk of developing opioid use disorder, and prevention of overuse and misuse of opioids.
  4. Transparent reporting requirements for fund usage to ensure compliance with approved purposes.
  5. Flexibility for local governments to pool resources to increase the impact of settlement funds.

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About the National Opioid Settlements

On February 25, 2022, manufacturer Johnson & Johnson and the “big three” distributors McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Cardinal Health finalized a $26 billion opioid settlement agreement to resolve their liabilities in over 3,000 opioid crisis-related suits nationwide.

The proposed settlements require that Johnson and Johnson and the distributors pay $26 billion over 18 years, with approximately $22.7 billion available to state and local governments to address the opioid epidemic.

The settlement comes as a result of investigations by state attorneys general into whether the three distributors fulfilled their legal duty to refuse to ship opioids to pharmacies that submitted suspicious drug orders and whether Johnson & Johnson misled patients and doctors about the addictive nature of opioid drugs.

In addition to the funds, Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen will:

  • Establish a centralized independent clearinghouse to provide all three distributors and state regulators with aggregated data and analytics about where drugs are going and how often, eliminating blind spots in the current systems used by distributors.
  • Use data-driven systems to detect suspicious opioid orders from customer pharmacies.
  • Terminate customer pharmacies’ ability to receive shipments, and report those companies to state regulators, when they show certain signs of diversion.
  • Prohibit shipping of and report suspicious opioid orders.
  • Prohibit sales staff from influencing decisions related to identifying suspicious opioid orders.
  • Require senior corporate officials to engage in regular oversight of anti-diversion efforts.

Johnson & Johnson is required to:

  • Stop selling opioids.
  • Not fund or provide grants to third parties for promoting opioids.
  • Not lobby on activities related to opioids.
  • Share clinical trial data under the Yale University Open Data Access Project.

Fifty-two states and territories have signed on to the settlement, as well as thousands of local governments across the country. This is the second-largest multistate agreement in U.S. history, second only to the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.

More information: https://nationalopioidsettlement.com/

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Frequently Asked Questions


To date, three opioid settlements have been reached between Maricopa County and pharmaceutical companies and distributors

Details regarding other settlement agreements will be updated on this website as information becomes available.



Altogether, Maricopa County is estimated to receive approximately $80 million in total funding from the Distributor and Janssen settlements. Settlement payments will be made on a rolling basis and in annual increments for 18 years, ending in 2038.



The One Arizona Distribution of Opioid Settlement Funds Agreement establishes binding terms for the distribution and spending of funds from national opioid settlements with pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors. It is expected that this Agreement will govern any settlements and distributions with other opioid defendants in the future. More information about the Agreement can be found here.



Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) will serve as the administrator for settlement funds allocated to Maricopa County and will be responsible for arranging payments to municipalities.

Maricopa County also will allocate a portion of settlement dollars to fund community-based substance use abatement activities in accordance with approved, nationally recognized strategies. These funding opportunities will be announced publicly as they become available.



Under the terms of the state’s approved Agreement, 56% of abatement funds coming into Arizona under statewide opioid settlements will be allocated to the participating Local Governments (counties) and 44% of the abatement funds will be allocated to the State.

Maricopa County will receive 57.9% as its Local Government share. As set forth in the Agreement (see Exhibit C), additional percentage allocations were determined for Maricopa County and each participating city and town.



In Sept. 2022, Maricopa County received electronic notice of its first payment of approximately $4.7 million from the national opioid settlement. Of this amount, $2.3 million will be distributed to - cities and towns in Maricopa County per the Agreement 

This deposit represents the first payment Maricopa County and local jurisdictions will receive over the next 18 years from the Distributor settlement.

At this time, we do not have information on when initial payments will begin from the settlements reached with the manufacturer, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., (“Janssen”) and its parent company Johnson & Johnson, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, or other pending litigations.



MCDPH sent email notifications to all cities and towns in mid-September to notify them of their disbursement and included instructions for setting up payment accounts in the county’s vendor portal. For more information, please email substanceuse@maricopa.gov



Please refer to the following documents to create or manage your account in the VSS Portal.

  1. Register a new vendor account
  2. Activate an existing vendor account
  3. Managing your vendor account

For technical assistance with the VSS portal, please reach out to:

VSS Help Line: 602-506-1000

VSS Email Address: FIN.VSSAdmin@maricopa.gov

General Administration Hours: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday, except holidays.



As outlined in the Agreement (see Exhibit A), funds must be spent in accordance with approved, nationally recognized strategies to pay for future costs incurred by the state and local governments to address the opioid epidemic. Approved uses include expenses related to the treatment of opioid use disorder, support for people in treatment and recovery, support for people who have or are at risk of developing opioid use disorder, and prevention of overuse and misuse of opioids.



Yes. All local government entities receiving settlement funds, including Maricopa County and its cities and towns, will be required to submit annual reports to the State of Arizona by July 31 of each year, as outlined in the Agreement. Maricopa County will share templates and other details about reporting as they become available.



Yes. Funds will be allocated directly to tribes from the Distributor and Janssen Settlement Agreements. All federally recognized tribes are eligible to participate in the Tribal Opioid Settlements, regardless of whether that tribe filed an opioid lawsuit. Refer to the Tribal Opioid Settlements webpage for more information: www.tribalopioidsettlements.com



This historic settlement brings an unprecedented opportunity to save lives and reduce harms caused by substance use, especially among communities hardest hit by this epidemic.

Efforts will be made to work with state and local entities to maximize coordination of funding strategies and reduce duplication of work.



Announcements of any settlement funding solicitations will be shared publicly as they become available through established county procurement processes. In order to receive notification of county solicitations, please register as a vendor with Maricopa County.

Public Health is in the process of developing a framework for a substance use prevention and response plan to determine strategic priorities and guide spending decisions.

Participation and support in this process from community organizations, providers, individuals with lived experience and others will be essential to ensure the voices of those most impacted by the harms of the opioid epidemic are heard.

More about this process will be shared in early fall 2022.



Following are websites that may provide additional information: 

Contact Us

Shilpika Devarachetty
Substance Use Strategic Initiatives Project Manager
substanceuse@maricopa.gov

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