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Attorney General Aaron Frey Announces Agreement for Distribution of Opioid Settlement Funds
January 28, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Nicole M. Sacre, firstname.lastname@example.org
Attorney General Aaron Frey Announces Agreement for Distribution
of Opioid Settlement Funds
Maine is estimated to receive as much as $130 million over 18 years to address opioid epidemic
Augusta, Maine – Attorney General Aaron M. Frey announced today he has reached an agreement with litigating cities, counties, and school districts governing Maine’s use of proceeds from the National Opioid Settlements with distributors Cardinal, McKesson, and Amerisource Bergen and opioid manufacturers Johnson & Johnson. This agreement completes Maine’s acceptance of a settlement that was initially agreed to by Attorney General Frey in August 2021. This settlement is estimated to bring as much as $130 million to Maine over an 18 year period to support state and local efforts to address the opioid epidemic.
“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,” said Attorney General Aaron Frey. “This agreement paves the way for Maine to receive significant resources, starting this year, to be specifically directed at tackling the opioid epidemic that is ravaging our state. These resources will be deployed to address this crisis, provide necessary treatment for addiction, and save lives. I appreciate the collaborative efforts of counties and municipalities in bringing this money to Maine, and I look forward to continuing to work with them and others as we move forward on this issue of state-wide importance.”
The agreement between the Office of the Attorney General and the litigating cities, counties, and school districts directs the settlement funds as follows:
- 20 percent of the proceeds to the State, administered by the Office of the Attorney General, to address the epidemic;
- 30 percent of the proceeds to the 39 Maine counties and municipalities that either filed litigation against the settling companies or that have more than 10,000 residents;
- 50 percent to a Maine Recovery Fund that will be disbursed by a Recovery Council comprised of stakeholders who will make decisions on how best to maximize the impact of the funds on mitigating the opioid epidemic. The Recovery Council will include at least four members selected by cities and counties, two members appointed by the Governor, the Speaker of the House or his designee, the President of the Senate or his designee, and three members of the recovery community appointed by the Attorney General. Up to four additional members may be appointed by the Legislature.
- The Recovery Council has broad discretion on how to spend the funds on opioid abatement purposes but must allocate 3 percent of the funds to address abatement in special education programs.
Distribution of these settlement funds to Maine is expected to begin as soon as April 2022
This agreement will also govern the distribution of any proceeds received from ongoing opioid litigation with Purdue Pharma and Mallinckrodt.
Attorney General Frey appreciates that this success would not have been possible without the talented lawyering of Assistant Attorneys General Linda Conti and Brendan O'Neil. These true public servants have worked tirelessly over many years representing the interests of the State of Maine to hold accountable those companies responsible for driving the opioid crisis. It is because of their hard work that these settlements and this agreement have been reached.
The complete settlement agreements are available at www.maine.gov/ag