Inmates Addiction Medication

In this July 23, 2018, photo, newly-released inmate George Ballentine holds his prescription medicine Suboxone outside a pharmacy in Greenfield, Mass. While serving his sentence at the Franklin County Jail, Ballentine received a daily dose of buprenorphine (Suboxone) to control his heroin and opioid cravings. His doctor hopes to soon take him off the medication he'd been on for his last two months in jail. 

A new opioid impact fee created by the Delaware General Assembly last year created roughly $500,000 in additional funding for addiction treatments in just the first few months it's existed, with another half-million expected soon. 

“I’m absolutely thrilled the nation’s first, successful opioid impact fee is working as designed,” said Sen. Stephanie Hansen, D-Middletown, prime sponsor of Senate Bill 34. “The pharmaceutical companies that created the addiction crisis are finally being held accountable and soon we will be using the money we collect to fund new tools and resources capable of breaking the cycle of abuse, addiction and death that has gripped this state for too long.”

Delaware was listed as one of the Top 20 states for opioid prescriptions per capita, and leads the nation in prescriptions in high-dose opioids. It's also fifth for more overdose deaths per capita. 

The legislation introduced a fee charged to drug manufacturers based on the strength of the opioids sold in Delaware. Those fees are added to the Prescription Opioid Impact Fund and used to prevent and treat opioid addiction. 

The Delaware Division of Professional Regulation so far sent invoices to 41 companies for a total of $547,369.00 with $483,113.00 received in payment to date for third-quarter 2019 invoices. Fourth-quarter invoices to 42 companies for a total of $528,104.22 were sent earlier this month.