State reaches tentative settlement with opioid manufacturer Allergan

For the second time this week, an opioid manufacturer has agreed to a settlement with the State of Minnesota.

Friday morning, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced multiple states had reached a tentative $2.37 billion agreement with Allergan.

Earlier this week, Ellison announced multiple states had reached an agreement with Teva Pharmaceuticals worth $4.25 billion.

According to Ellison’s office, while the final terms of the agreements still need to be reached, the funds would be in addition to payments from distributors and Johnson & Johnson.

The two settlements combined are worth $6.62 billion, a sum that will be distributed across the country.

RELATED: Drug overdose deaths reached record high in Minnesota in 2021, MDH says

In Minnesota alone, the state’s Department of Health reports opioid-involved overdose deaths increased to 924 in 2021, an increase of 35% from 2020. In addition, the state reports there are about 10 nonfatal drug overdoses for every drug overdose death.

Ellison issued the following statement regarding the latest settlements:

As I said earlier this week, there’s no amount of money that can make up for the death and destruction that these companies caused by putting their profits before people’s lives. Even so, I have and will continue to aggressively hold these companies accountable for the harm they’ve caused in order to protect the people of Minnesota. I’m encouraged by the potential of the Teva and Allergan settlement frameworks to provide critical resources to address the ongoing opioid epidemic.  

These agreements can build upon the momentum and existing structures that Minnesota and our cities and counties have created through previous settlements to allocate resources to where the pain is — in the communities.  Key terms still need to be finalized, and I am hopeful that the agreements include strong transparency requirements so the public can see what the opioid companies did and make sure no one can ever do it again.  

I look forward to finalizing negotiations with these companies to make sure the final terms of both settlements are the best possible deal for Minnesota. If they are, I hope cities and counties sign on as they did earlier this year to make sure we maximize our state’s resources to fight the epidemic. 

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison

Once finalized, state officials say the settlements are expected to bring tens of millions of dollars to Minnesota.