On March 1, 2022, Associate Policy Director Brianna January testified before the House Appropriations and Health and Government Operations Committees in support of HB 794 – Public Health – Opioid Restitution Fund Advisory Council with amendments. This bill would, among other provisions, establish the Opioid Restitution Fund Advisory Council to provide specific findings and recommendations regarding the allocation of money from the Opioid Restitution Fund.
From the MACo testimony:
In September of 2021, the State of Maryland entered into landmark settlement agreements amounting to $395 million with opioids manufacturer Johnson & Johnson and three major opioids distributors, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Cardinal Health. A portion of these settlements will be deposited into the Opioid Restitution Fund, which was established to support opioid abatement programming across the state.
Additional contributions are expected from future settlements with opioids manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. Counties have spent years and countless resources pursuing claims against these actors, forcing their retreat into settlements with the State. Given the indispensable role they have played, counties should have input into how future settlement proceeds are spent. Likewise, MACo requests [an] amendment to ensure county representation on the Opioid Restitution Fund Advisory Council…