Maine unveils plan to use opioid settlement funds
Maine is getting tens of millions of dollars from a nationwide settlement with several pharmaceutical companies over their role in the opioid crisis.
The settlement, announced by Attorney General Aaron Frey, will resolve dozens of individual lawsuits filed by Maine cities and towns against opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson and drug distributors Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen. The state will get more than $130 million over the next 18 years as part of the nationwide settlement.
Frey said the agreement “paves the way for Maine to receive significant resources” to address the opioid epidemic that is “ravaging” the state.
“At a time when Mainers continue to suffer from the pain and loss inflicted by the opioid epidemic, this agreement and the settlement it secures represents a significant opportunity to confront the crisis head on,” he said in a statement. “These resources will be deployed to address this crisis, provide necessary treatment for addiction, and save lives.”
Under the plan, at least 20% of the proceeds will go to the state to address the epidemic; 30% of the funds will be diverted to the 39 Maine counties and municipalities that either filed litigation against the settling companies or that have more than 10,000 residents, according to the attorney general’s office.
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