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Michigan could receive up to nearly $800M in historic national opioid settlement, AG office says

More than 30 states reporting increases in opioid overdoses amid pandemic
Posted at 11:34 AM, Jul 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-22 11:34:16-04

(WSYM) — Michigan could receive up to nearly $800 million in a national opioid settlement, the Michigan Attorney General's Office announced Wednesday.

The multi-billion dollar settlement is with Johnson & Johnson and three pharmaceutical distributors: Cardinal Health, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen.

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The AG's office says that Dana Nessel and other state attorneys general across the country have been working to hold companies responsible for their roles in helping fuel the growing opioid epidemic.

According to the AG's office, only the 1998 national tobacco settlement was higher than this settlement.

"When I ran for Attorney General, I made a commitment to do everything possible to assist our state residents whose lives have been torn apart by the opioid epidemic. I am thrilled to be delivering on that promise," Nessel said in a press release. "This historic settlement will help save lives and further combat the ongoing crisis, while also ensuring those who created this catastrophe pay for our collective recovery. For far too long, local communities have carried the burden of fighting against the opioid epidemic and felt those in a position to advocate for them weren't listening. This settlement will bring much-needed financial support for ongoing intervention, services and treatment efforts statewide, and eventual healing for Michigan families."

The injunctive relief overview is as follows:

Requires Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen, through court orders, to:

  • Establish a centralized independent clearinghouse to provide all three distributors and state regulators with aggregated data and analytics about where drugs are going and how often, eliminating blind spots in the current systems used by distributors.
  • Use data-driven systems to detect suspicious opioid orders from customer pharmacies.
  • Terminate customer pharmacies' ability to receive shipments, and report those companies to state regulators, when they show certain signs of diversion.
  • Prohibit shipping of and report suspicious opioid orders.
  • Prohibit sales staff from influencing decisions related to identifying suspicious opioid orders.
  • Require senior corporate officials to engage in regular oversight of anti-diversion efforts.

Requires Johnson & Johnson, through court orders, to:

  • Stop selling opioids.
  • Not fund or provide grants to third parties for promoting opioids.
  • Not lobby on activities related to opioids.
  • Share clinical trial data under the Yale University Open Data Access Project.

You can read more here.

Elle Meyers

Elle Meyers

6:12 PM, Apr 12, 2021

State Capitol

Neighborhood Reporter

Elle Meyers

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