Georgia

Allocation of Funds

Georgia is participating in the national settlement and funds are split 75/25
(see MOU here):

75% – State dollars – Placed into a state-administered Trust. (Of this amount, 40% will be distributed on a regional basis, via direct block grants, as determined by the state.) A Government-appointed Trustee will make disbursements of State Opioid Funds after consultation with the Georgia Opioid Settlement Advisory Commission (GOSAC).

    • The state is divided into 11 regions based on population (see page 10), and each must form a Regional Advisory Council which will consult with GOSAC and local governments to determine how funds will be spent.
    • Each Regional Advisory Council must consist of 3-7 members. The minimum 3 must be: 1 member of a county board of health, 1 member of the executive team of a Community Service Board, and 1 sheriff or designee. Those 3 have the opportunity (but not a mandate) to find up to 4 other people to join the Council. The Council will have decision-making power for allocating money throughout the Region, and they must produce an annual report detailing allocations made.
    • Members of GOSAC and each Regional Advisory Council can be found here (current as of April 17, 2024).

25% – Local dollars – Sent directly to participating local governments (including specific allotments for sheriff offices, hospitals and schools).
General information about Georgia’s opioid settlement agreements can be found on the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget website.

On May 18, 2023, Governor Kemp established the Georgia Opioid Settlement Advisory Committee (GOSAC) via Executive Order which will be tasked to consult with, and provide recommendations to, the Trustee of the Georgia Opioid Crisis Abatement Trust regarding allocation of settlement funds.

In April 2024, the Georgia Opioid Crisis Abatement Trust launched their website www.gaopioidtrust.org and announced that groups can begin applying for first round funds.

In addition to state settlements, the City of Atlanta and a coalition of 6 metro area counties filed a lawsuit against more than 30 drug companies and pharmacies they accuse of neglecting their legal responsibilities to protect public health in favor of profit. See the list of defendants at the bottom of this article.

  • Local governments cannot file individual lawsuits against companies included in the national settlements because they signed on to the State’s agreement, but they are still free to file against other companies. The article says more than 70 Georgia cities and counties have filed similar lawsuits, seeking to recoup taxpayer expenses for health care and other costs tied to the epidemic.

Additionally, The Georgia Supreme Court heard oral arguments on a case related to the state’s opioid settlement agreement. The hospital authority of Wayne County has an outstanding lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies for strain put on a hospital throughout the overdose crisis. But the state of Georgia passed a law in 2022 that blocks local governments from filing their own lawsuits, in order to resolve the thousands of lawsuits and come to the “national opioid settlement” as we know it today. Pharma companies are trying to have the hospital’s lawsuit thrown out, pointing to Georgia’s state law.

Show Me The Money

Distributor & Janssen Settlement: $636 million
McKinsey & Company: $16.7 million – This article from the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute details how the funding was spent and gives suggestions on how the State should move forward with a process for the national settlement money.
Mallinckrodt: $9.2 million
CVS:
$50.1 million
Walgreens: $58.7 million
Walmart: $28 million
Teva:
$44.9 million
Allergan: $27.4 million
Rite Aid: 1/3 of $10.5 million for Cobb County
Purdue: Participating

Also see the Global Settlement Tracker.

Community Advocate Guide

Christine Minhee, J.D. of OpioidSettlementTracker.com and Vital Strategies released comprehensive guides on opioid settlement funds for all 50 states and the District of Columbia! Each guide contains essential information on total funding, legal mechanism(s) governing the process, and funding allocations in each state.

Check out the Georgia Guide for more in depth information about the state’s plan for managing and allocating funds (info is current as of 4/19/23).