Allocation of Funds

Alabama is pursuing an independent legal strategy for opioid-related litigation and is consequentially not involved in the national opioid settlement. (That means they are not beholden to the exact same guardrails as the national settlement, but their agreements still require settlement funds to be used to remediate the harms caused by the opioid crisis.)

Funds are split 50/50:

50% – State dollars Deposited into the State’s General Fund and allocated by the Alabama Legislature. The Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council must submit an annual report including suggestions for how to spend the money, which the Governor and legislature review. 

50% – Local dollars Sent directly to localities (see Exhibit B for the breakdown)

On May 24, 2023, the Alabama legislature passed House Joint Resolution 204 creating the Oversight Commission on Alabama Opioid Settlement Funds which is charged with developing a statewide plan for the investment and use of funds appropriated to agencies and entities, and to review the expenditure of funds to ensure they achieve the best results for Alabama’s opioid crisis. The Commission began holding public hearings in late 2023. Meetings can be found on the Alabama Legislature website (typically Location is Room 200) and livestreams and recordings can be found on The Alabama Channel, thanks to the League of Women Voters of Alabama Education Fund.

(It is unclear how or if the Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council will continue to be involved.)

In November of 2023, Attorney General Steve Marshall penned a letter to county and municipal leaders, urging them to “proceed with caution” when approached by industry vendors seeking funding for opioid initiatives, and to instead prioritize a “ground-up approach” that prioritizes “education, prevention, and treatment.” He also emphasized that decisions be made “with full transparency and accountability to the constituents whom you serve.” He ended the letter by encouraging local leaders to email him at when they make opioid settlement spending decisions but did not indicate if that reporting would then be shared publicly.

In addition to State settlements, Alabama hospitals are facing opioid manufacturers in an attempt to bring themselves more opioid settlement funds. The hospitals say their state suits are distinct from the multidistrict litigation being overseen by a federal court in Ohio, which involves cities and counties nationwide. As providers on the front lines of the opioid crisis, they say the operational impact felt by hospitals and the rest of the health-care system is different from the harms governments have alleged in their suits.

Show Me The Money

McKinsey & Company: $9.2 millionThis article mentions how this money has already been spent.
Mallinckrodt: $2.4 million
Endo Pharmaceutical:
$25 million in 1 lump sum payment ($15m to the State and $10m to litigating subdivisions)
Johnson and Johnson: $70.3 million in 1 lump sum payment (50% to the State, 50% to litigating subdivisions)
McKesson: $141 million over 9 years (50% to the State, 50% to litigating subdivisions)
Teva, Allergan, CVS, and Walgreens: $248.9 million
Walmart: $44.2 million – Of this: $35.7 million will be paid to Alabama’s local governments “for the purpose of opioid abatement.” + $3 million will be dedicated to improving the connectivity and integration (“technological improvements”) of Alabama’s local court systems. + $5,530,000 for attorney’s fees
Purdue: Participating

Also see the Global Settlement Tracker.

Community Advocate Guide

Christine Minhee, J.D. of and Vital Strategies released comprehensive guides on opioid settlement funds for all 50 states and the District of Columbia! Each guide contains essential information on total funding, legal mechanism(s) governing the process, and funding allocations in each state.

Check out the Alabama Guide for more in depth information about the state’s plan for managing and allocating funds (info is current as of 5/15/23).