Publication Date: 
Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Approximately 3,000 state and local governments have sued opioid manufacturers and distributors to compensate for government opioid epidemic spending. These lawsuits have resulted in major structured settlements to certain states and local governments. Based in part on lack of restrictions on 1998 tobacco settlements state spending, which was often not targeted at tobacco control and cessation, national experts lead by the Legislative Analysis and Public Policy Association (LAPPA) partnered to develop model state legislation directing use of opioid litigation proceeds. The model policy dedicates funding from settlements to redress opioid crisis harms through substance use disorder programming, other evidence-based measures, and a council to administer and direct the fund. 

To measure state adoption of model policy provisions, a research team at the Center for Public Health Law Research at Temple University's Beasley School of Law applied scientific policy surveillance methods to conduct a nationwide assessment. The assessment compares state adherence to various components of the model legislation and tracks diffusion of state laws regulating proceeds from opioid litigation settlements. State research includes opioid litigation proceed laws in 50 states and the District of Columbia. This data can be used to assess states’ progress in enacting the opioid litigation proceeds model act, identify gaps in existing state laws, and demonstrate the utility of policy surveillance methods for assessing adherence and diffusion of model legislation. Further, this data can support advocacy and evidence-based policymaking and related health outcomes research.

This project was developed by Temple University’s Center for Public Health Law Research, in cooperation with the Legislative Analysis and Public Policy Association, and with funding from the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Executive Office of the President. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the Office of National Drug Control Policy or the United States Government. Complete dataset results are forthcoming.