Raúl Torrez | Attorney General

AG BALDERAS CONVENES RIO ARRIBA OPIATE WORKING GROUP TO ATTACK ADDICTION

For Immediate Release:
November 4, 2022
Contact: Jerri Mares — (505) 321-4372

ESPAÑOLA — New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas held a town hall-style discussion and invited elected officials, Tribal leaders, treatment disorder providers, those in recovery, behavioral health providers, law enforcement, educators, budget professionals, nonprofits and top community leaders in Española, to come together and select diverse leaders to develop a regional prevention and intervention treatment plan by December 1, 2022. The group discussion focused on issues in the hard-hit community related to the opioid crisis, and strategies for addressing those issues.

“We are taking a collaborative approach as opiate recovery dollars begin to flow through our communities so we can truly make an impact and reduce addiction, and I believe that this special group of leaders can build a life saving model that will set the standard for the rest of the state and the Nation,” said Attorney General Balderas.

On October 18, 2022, Balderas’s office completed a seven-week-long trial against chain pharmacy operator Walgreens over its role in fueling the State’s opioid epidemic. A final decision in that case is expected to be announced in the coming months. Attorney General Balderas initiated litigation against those responsible for the opioid epidemic in 2017. Now, after more than five years, opioid-related settlements have been reached with several companies and payments of those funds have now begun. The funds will be shared between the State and local city and county governments across the State that agree to participate in the various settlements. The funds must be spent on efforts designed to abate the effects of opioid abuse and misuse across New Mexico.

New Mexico has settled with manufacturer Johnson & Johnson and drug distributors McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Cardinal Health which collectively will bring more than $190 million into the State of New Mexico. Balderas will be announcing details of additional settlements with other parties in the coming weeks. Drug manufacturers Purdue Pharma, Insys Therapeutics, Mallinckrodt plc, and Endo Pharmaceuticals have all filed for bankruptcy as a result of high-profile opioid-related litigation, and New Mexico continues to aggressively pursue them in that forum. The State is expected to commence its trial against drug manufacturers Teva, Allergan, and KVK-Tech in Santa Fe in March 2023.

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Raul Torrez

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