Reyes: In opioid investigating and settlement talks, Utah taking co-leadership role

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FILE – This photo provided by the U.S. Attorneys Office for Utah and introduced as evidence in a 2019 trial shows fentanyl-laced fake oxycodone pills collected during an investigation. In a resumption of a brutal trend, nearly 71,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2019 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a new record high that predates the COVID-19 crisis. The numbers were driven by fentanyl and similar synthetic opioids, which accounted for 36,500 overdose deaths. (U.S. Attorneys Office for Utah via AP)

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Utah is taking a co-leadership role in investigating, litigating, and discussing settlements regarding opioid distributors and manufacturers throughout the country over the past several years.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes announced the state’s involvement on Wednesday. Additionally, AG Reyes says the State of Utah has been and remains part of the current agreement between a coalition of states and several opioid distributors and a manufacturer to address the damage done by the ongoing opioid addiction crisis.

On Thursday, AG Reyes, the Governor’s Office, and the Department of Commerce will hold a 2 p.m. press conference.

ABC4.com will provide updates following that press conference.

In February, AG Reyes announced Utah’s involvement in a $573 million national settlement with one of the world’s largest consulting firms, McKinsey and Company. He outlined how much Utah was receiving as part of the first multi-state opioid settlement, saying in part: “Payments from this and other lawsuits are not intended to compensate for the loss of Utah lives. no amount can do that.

A report released in early 2021 shows there was no increase in suicide or drug overdoses in Utah during 2020.

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