March 13, 2018

The cost of the Opioid Epidemic to local governments across the nation is staggering. The White House Council of Economic Advisors recently released a report, The Underestimated Cost of the Opioid Crisis that estimated the overall cost of the Opioid Crisis at over $500 billion. There are a number of state and local lawsuits underway against opioid drug manufacturers to recover costs associated with the opioid epidemic.  On December 5, 2017, a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) was created to consolidate claims by states, counties, and cities against certain opioid drug manufacturers and distributors. The resulting litigation will potentially enable local governments to recover: (1) reimbursement for Medicaid and other medical costs for care and treatment of overdose, addiction, and over-prescription; (2) additional costs of law enforcement, first responders, prosecutions, jails, and facilities attributable to the opioid crisis; (3) medical costs associated with babies born addicted to opioids; and (4) costs of social services, child care and protection services associated with opioid-addicted parents.

On March 13, 2018, Betsy A. Miller, a Partner at Cohen Milstein and Co-Chair of the firm's Public Client practice group, spoke as a panelist representing the States' perspective at the NLC Congressional Conference's session on opioid costs and recovery at the Marriott Waldman in Washington, DC.