Payments from distributors and Johnson & Johnson opioids settlements received

Maryland Attorney General Anthony G. Brown announced August 16 that the State of Maryland and its subdivisions recently received nearly $24 million as the 2023 installments of payments due under consent judgments that the Office of the Attorney General entered into last year with the three largest pharmaceutical distributors in the United States – McKesson, Cardinal Health and Amerisource Bergen – and the pharmaceutical manufacturer Johnson & Johnson.

The payments are the most recent installments of approximately $395 million that Maryland and its subdivisions will receive from the settlements over the course of 18 years. The settlements, entered into in 2022, resolved the companies’ liability to the State for illegally marketing and distributing opioids before the settlements’ effective dates. Subdivisions will receive a total of more than $13.6 million from the settlements, including more than $4.8 million in direct payments already distributed and nearly $8.8 million in targeted abatement grants from the State that will be distributed once processed. All funding is committed to abating the opioid crisis. To date, the State and its subdivisions have received more than $84 million in total from the settlements.

“Opioid addiction has been the source of too much pain and devastation in our communities, tearing apart families and leaving a trail of suffering,” said Attorney General Brown. “This continuing flow of payments from those who’ ve caused that pain will help abate the opioid crisis and provide relief for Maryland’s communities. This is about standing up against the devastation and offering a path to healing and restoration for our communities.”

Along with the injunctive relief imposed by the consent judgments, payments from these settlements help deter and prevent wrongdoers from continuing to harm our citizens and communities, while enabling state health policymakers, including the Opioid Operational Command Center (“OOCC”) of the Maryland Department of Health, with the advice of the Opioid Restitution Fund Advisory Council, and local governments and health officials across the State to implement abatement programs that provide assistance to afflicted Marylanders.

Of the nearly $24 million recently distributed to the state and its subdivisions, approximately $10 million will be placed in the State’s Opioid Restitution Fund for State policymakers to expend for opioids-related abatement programs. Another nearly $8.8 million will be deposited into the Opioid Restitution Fund to make targeted abatement grants to 58 qualifying subdivisions that participated in the settlements. The remaining approximately $4.9 million has already been distributed to these local governments for deposit in local opioids abatement funds established under agreements with the Office of the Attorney General.

Washington County will receive directly $165,988.31, the grant is $298,778.97 for a total of $464,767.28. Hagerstown will receive directly $17,445.78, the grant is $31,402.41 for a total of $48,848.19.

These two were among the subdivisions that participated in the settlements that have or are expected to receive the amounts projected. The amounts are subject to final calculation and determination by OOCC.

In announcing the State’s receipt of funds from the settlements, Attorney General Brown indicated that the Office of the Attorney General’s work to bring those who caused or have sustained the opioids crisis to justice is ongoing.