WVU president and former Ohio governor to push opioid settlement money toward hospitals

West Virginia University President Gordon Gee and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich are forming a nonprofit that will work to steer money from any national opioid settlement to hospitals and health-based research. (Source: MGN)
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia University President Gordon Gee and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich are forming a nonprofit that will work to steer money from any national opioid settlement to hospitals and health-based research.

The duo plans to announce Citizens for Effective Opioid Treatment on Thursday. The 501(c)4 organization will educate policymakers and the public about the negative impacts of the opioid epidemic on health care infrastructure and advance health-related solutions to the crisis.

Their plan is the latest in a tug-of-war over what to do with the potential billions from a settlement with drugmakers and distributors, if one's reached.

Local governments want the Cleveland-based federal judge overseeing the majority of 2,000-plus lawsuits over the toll of opioids to let them split the money. Most state attorneys general oppose the plan.