First payments from landmark opioid settlements start flowing to Minnesota communities
October 19, 2022
October 18, 2022 (SAINT PAUL) — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced today that the first payments from the historic $26 billion opioid settlements with opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson and the nation’s three largest opioid distributors — Cardinal Health, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen — were sent to Minnesota cities and counties yesterday. More than $6.6 million in settlement payments were distributed throughout the state, following Minnesota’s historic December 2021 agreement between the state and cities and counties that set how the settlement funds will be allocated and used within the state.
Because the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office achieved complete participation from cities and counties in the settlements with distributors and Johnson & Johnson, the payments will be significantly accelerated. The Attorney General’s Office expects $66 million to be paid this year.
In total, the settlement with Johnson & Johnson and opioid distributors will bring more than $300 million into Minnesota to fight the opioid crisis over the next 18 years, 75 percent of which will go directly to Minnesota’s local communities to support treatment, prevention, recovery, harm reduction, and other strategies to address the opioid epidemic. The remaining 25 percent will go to the State of Minnesota to be overseen and distributed by the Opioid Epidemic Response Advisory Council (OERAC). The $300 million figure does not include additional tens of millions of dollars the State expects to receive from settlements with Purdue, Mallinckrodt, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Allergan, Endo, or McKinsey, all of which will be dedicated to fighting the opioid crisis.
“Opioid settlement dollars are starting to flow to the Minnesota communities that need it most because they’ve been hurt the most,” Attorney General Ellison said. “No amount of money will ever be enough to make up for the suffering the opioid companies caused, but the historic agreement we reached with every single Minnesota county and more than 140 cities means Minnesota is maximizing the dollars coming to the state to fight the epidemic. I want to thank the cities and counties for partnering with us to combat this crisis, and also thank the legislature for passing on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basisthe Opioid Settlement Funds Bill I fought for, which allows these funds to start flowing.”
Nine settlements with opioid companies worth hundreds of millions of dollars
In the last two and a half years, Attorney General Ellison’s office has reached nine settlements with opioid companies worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Minnesota, including the money from the $300 million settlement with Johnson + Johnson and distributors that started flowing yesterday. These settlements are with the following defendants:
• manufacturer Endo in August 2022;
• manufacturers Teva Pharmaceuticals and Allergan in July 2022;
• manufacturer Johnson + Johnson and distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson in July 2021;
• Purdue Pharma, manufacturer of the blockbuster opioid OxyContin, in July 2021;
• international consultancy McKinsey in February 2021;
• manufacturer Mallinckrodt in October 2020; and
• manufacturer Insys in January 2020.
The Attorney General’s opioid webpage includes a list detailing the amount of funds that cities and counties are estimated to receive from the settlements with distributors and Johnson & Johnson. The webpage also offers tools, resources, and other information for local governments and others regarding use of the funds and Attorney General Ellison’s efforts to fight the epidemic in Minnesota.