Messages seeking comment were left with the other companies.
“Ultimately, it was my judgment that this was in the bests interests of the state,” Neronha said.
Rhode Island’s settlement ensures the state will get the money regardless of whether the global settlement proceeds and guarantees Rhode Island will receive money sooner, with the first payment expected within weeks and the second payment coming in July, he said.
About $90 million will be used for treatment, prevention and recovery. Rhode Island’s deal also includes millions of dollars to compensate the state for the cost of litigation.
“It’s important to use these funds to make a difference over the long haul,” Democratic Gov. Dan McKee said.
The state is putting together an advisory board under the leadership of Health and Human Services Secretary Womazetta Jones to figure out how 80% of it should be distributed. The other 20% will be distributed directly to cities and towns based on population to be used solely for opioid abatement.
Rhode Island remains engaged in ongoing litigation against OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma; the Sackler family, which owns Purdue; and Teva Pharmaceuticals, Neronha said. The case against Teva is scheduled to go to trial in March.