Bucks County Commissioner Chair Bob Harvie today announced the Chairman’s Opioid Settlement Advisory Committee to advise him on appropriation of opioid settlement funds.
Commissioner Harvie has selected members of the Bucks County community representing different geographic areas who have backgrounds in human services, substance abuse prevention and public safety, and who have experience working with other affected groups, like veterans.
“The opioid epidemic which has affected so many lives in our county and our country is not over, and the process of holding accountable the people and companies responsible for unleashing this man-made plague is not over either,” said Commissioner Harvie. “The settlement agreed upon by almost half the states in this nation will help Bucks County address the epidemic in our communities.”
Bucks County, like other municipalities, is a plaintiff in nationwide opioid litigation against manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioids. Earlier this year, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro negotiated a $1 billion settlement with three distributors (AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson) and one manufacturer (Johnson & Johnson).
Under this settlement’s allocation formula, which may serve as a blueprint for future settlements, Bucks County expects to receive roughly $44 million over 18 years. The county anticipates receiving the first allocation in June 2022. All of these funds must be used in ways that remediate the opioid epidemic, in accordance with the terms of the settlement.
The purpose of the committee is to advise the Chair on proven, effective and targeted solutions with an emphasis on recovery and prevention. The committee’s advice will inform the allocation of funds received as part of this settlement, as well as future recoveries obtained through the nationwide opioid litigation.
The advisory committee will be chaired by Diane Rosati, Executive Director of Bucks County Drug & Alcohol Commission. She will be joined by the following members:
“I am grateful to the members of the Opioid Settlement Advisory Committee for their willingness to devote their time, energy and expertise to help ensure the effective use of these settlement funds,” said Commissioner Harvie.
The advisory committee will be responsible for reviewing and making recommendations on applications for funding. The committee will receive input from members of the public and provide recommendations and feedback to the Chair on a regular basis throughout each year the committee is in existence.
Commissioner Harvie concluded, “Each of the seven members possess experiences and knowledge which makes them valuable to the committee, but most of all, they each have shown, in their personal and professional lives, an extraordinary dedication to serve our neighbors and communities.”
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