“The opioid epidemic was born, in part, out of a concert of action by many large corporations who reaped incredible profits as a result,” Nessel said in a press release. “It is rewarding to both hold them accountable and secure much needed funding for the continued suffering of those with opioid-use disorder.”
The settlement requires Michigan to join the Walgreens National Opioid Settlement, which provides approximately $200 million over 15 years. By participating in the National Settlement, eligible local governments will have an opportunity to participate in this portion of the settlement and receive direct payments.
Along with the Walgreens National Opioid Settlement, Michigan will receive an additional $138 million over 18 years.
Since taking office, AG Nessel has focused diligently on combating the opioid epidemic and holding accountable those responsible for creating and fueling the crisis. This settlement with Walgreens will conclude litigation dating back to when Nessel took office in 2019. These years-long negotiations result from the first time that a state sued major opioid manufacturers and distributors as drug dealers.
Since 2021, Nessel has joined a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general that has already secured $776 million for Michigan governments. Opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson and pharmaceutical distributors Cardinal Health, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen settled with the state last year, earmarking $26 billion for use across the nation in opioid treatment and addiction prevention efforts – nearly the largest civil settlement in American history, second only to the Tobacco Master Settlement of 1998. Those settlements also required that the offending companies establish new protocols to prevent future negligence in their manufacturing and distribution of controlled substances. Funds from Michigan’s $776 million portion of the national sum have already begun being allocated to local and statewide initiatives, and will continue to aid such efforts for the next 18 years.
Settlements with opioid addiction treatment drug manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser Group and consulting firm McKinsey & Co. for their culpability in exacerbating the effects of our nation’s opioid epidemic have added to Michigan as well. Such efforts secured an additional $2.6 million and $19.5 million for Michigan, respectively.
National Settlements with Teva Pharmaceuticals, Allergan Pharmaceutical, CVS Pharmacy and Walmart, inked at the end of 2022, are expected to add over $445 million for Michigan governments. In total, Nessel’s efforts have brought nearly $1.6 billion dollars for Michigan governments to combat Michigan’s ongoing opioid epidemic.
According to MDHHS data, 2,532 Michiganders died of a drug overdose from January to November 2022, an average of eight Michigan residents each day. If you or a loved one are in need of opioid addiction treatment, there are resources to help.