Delaware Sen. Stephanie Hansen joined the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services Wednesday in announcing that the first set of funding from an opioid impact fee would be used to prevent overdose deaths and provide substance use disorder treatment.
DHSS Secretary Molly Magarik said the department would spend the $700,000 raised by the fee to bolster Delaware’s supply of the opioid overdose reversal agent naloxone. Funding would also be used to support the expansion of Bridge Clinic services to 24 hours a day in all three counties and provide grants for transportation, housing, or education to people in treatment and recovery.
“As we work to reduce the spread of COVID-19, our state continues to respond to an opioid epidemic that is costing the lives of far too many Delawareans,” Magarik said. “The opioid impact fee created by Sen. Stephanie Hansen last year is proving to be a powerful tool in that fight. These funds are helping us to expand our services and reach the people most in need of that support.”
The opioid impact fees are the first-in-the-country to require the nation’s largest drug makers to address the costs of the opioid epidemic. Signed into law by Gov. John Carney in June 2019, the law requires that manufacturer pay a penny for every morphine milligram equivalent (MME) of any brand-name opioid dispensed in Delaware, and a quarter of a cent for every MME of their generic opioids sold. If companies refuse to pay the fee, they can be charged up to $100 a day, or 10 percent of the total impact fee, whichever is greater.