AUGUSTA — A new law sponsored by Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, that holds opioid manufacturers accountable for their role in the national epidemic takes effect today, June 16. The new law allows the state to collect information from the largest opioid manufacturers and charges these manufacturers a fee to do business in Maine. The funds will be used to help pay for treatment and recovery programs.
“This law is about holding companies accountable for their role in the opioid crisis. When opioid companies flooded the market with drugs, misled the public and bribed some doctors, many hardworking Americans never stood a chance,” said President Jackson. “By using funds from pharmaceutical companies to pay for treatment and recovery programs, we have a chance to save lives and make things right.”
All non-emergency laws take effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns sine die unless otherwise specified. The new law sets a licensing fee of $55,000 for opioid manufacturers doing business in Maine. It also establishes a product registration fee of $250,000 that applies to the largest opioid manufacturers – those selling two million or more doses in Maine. Prescriptions for medication-assisted treatment are excluded. It also contains language to ensure there are no unintended consequences for patients being responsibly treated with opioids.
Other laws championed by President Jackson that took effect this year include measures to tackle abusive medical billing practices, improve access to health care, support Maine seniors and make long-term investments in high-speed reliable internet and career and technical education.
Following Maine’s first reported case of COVID-19, Maine lawmakers passed a smart, responsible and targeted spending package and comprehensive COVID-19 response legislation, and expedited measures to support the health and well-being of Mainers during this public health crisis before adjourning early on March 17. All outstanding measures have been carried over for consideration during a possible special session later this year.