BALTIMORE – Maryland Attorney General Anthony G. Brown announced on Aug. 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.
A statement from the Office of the State’s Attorney said 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.
Counties and towns on the Eastern Shore are expected to receive the following sums: Cecil County, $541,181; Charlestown, $929; Elkton, $21,254; Northeast, 4,666; Perryville, $5,157; Dorchester, $63,413; Cambridge, $10,232; Vienna, $87; Caroline County, $96,998; Kent County, $72,918; Queen Anne’s County, $127,306; Somerset County, $66,309; Talbot County, $76,362; Easton, $18,617; Wicomico County, $$260,806; Salisbury, $38,114; Worcester County, $157,795; and Berlin, $4,465.
All funding is committed to abating the opioid crisis, the statement said. 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,” Attorney General Brown said. “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.”
The payments are intended not only to deter future wrongdoing, but also to help pay for abatement programs.
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.