AG Ellison announces additional $208 million in opioid settlements

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced Friday that Minnesota will receive an additional $208 million in opioid settlements over 15 years, bringing the total amount the state will receive to $568 million.

This is part of a national $17.3 billion settlement with drug makers Teva and Allergan and pharmacies Walgreens and CVS, according to a news release. Because Minnesota was able to get 100% participation by qualifying local governments, the defendants agreed to start sending funds to a national administrator this summer. Money is expected to start flowing to local and state governments by the end of this year, the news release said.

“No amount of money can ever make up for the death and destruction these companies caused in Minnesota. Nevertheless, I’ve made a priority of holding them accountable so that the money we extract from them can go directly to communities where the pain is, and so that the other accountability measures we win ensure they can never do anything like this to us again,” Ellison said.

The settlements will also require Teva to create regulations to prevent all opioid marketing and ensure systems are in place to prevent drug misuse. Allergen is required to stop selling opioids under the settlement as well. The two companies must also publically disclose millions of documents related to their role in the opioid crisis.

Both CVS and Walgreens have agreed to monitor, report and share data about suspicious activity related to opioids, Ellison said.

In July 2021, Ellison’s office joined $26 billion multistate settlement agreements with pharmaceutical distributors McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen and opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson. These settlements will bring over $300 million into Minnesota over the next 18 years to help fight the opioid crisis, Ellison said.

In December of 2021, Ellison’s office reached an agreement with local governments in Minnesota on how to allocate the funds — 75% will go to cities and counties and 25% will go to the state. The agreement was amended in 2023 to include the additional settlements with Teva, Allergen, Walmart, CVS and Walgreens. A finalized settlement with Walmart is expected to be announced in the coming weeks, Ellison said.

Ellison’s office said it also reached opioid-related settlements with opioid manufacturer Endo in August of 2022, Oxycontin manufacturer Purdue in July of 2021, international consultancy McKinsey in February of 2021, manufacturer Mallinckrodt in October of 2020 and manufacturer Insys in January of 2020.