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Friday, March 31, 2023

Ellison: The state and localities reach a $ 300 million distribution agreement for opioid regulation.

Minnesota this week took another step closer to receiving an estimated $ 300 million from an agreement with Johnson & Johnson and three major drug distributors in the United States in the wake of the country’s opioid pain reliever crisis.

Attorney General Keith Ellison announced Monday that the state has reached an agreement with the counties and cities of Minnesota on how to allocate the state’s stake in a pending $ 26 billion national settlement agreement. The state and local governments had to reach an agreement by January 2, 2022 to maximize the amount they receive from the national settlement.

Municipal governments will receive 75% of the settlement funds, while the state will receive 25% for treatment and prevention of opioid dependence. The latest estimates from the Ellison office indicate that the Minnesota and local governments will receive $ 296 million over the next 18 years.

The settlement with Johnson & Johnson and the Big Three drug distributors – Cardinal, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen – is just one of several fronts in an ongoing nationwide lawsuit against drug manufacturers, marketers and wholesalers over the country’s opioid pain reliever epidemic. US

The settlement was the result of an investigation by state attorneys general from across the United States to determine if distributors were able to track and cancel orders for suspicious drugs, and whether Johnson & Johnson misled patients and doctors about the addictive nature of opioid pain relievers.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 38 people per day died of prescription opioid overdose in 2019, for a total of about 14,000 deaths. Lawsuits against drug makers such as Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, estimate that between 1999 and 2015, hundreds of thousands of Americans died of opioid pain reliever overdose and millions became addicted. About 5,500 Minnesotans have died as a result of the addiction crisis, Ellison said.

In a statement released alongside Ellison’s statement, Pat Baustian, president of the Greater Minnesota Coalition of Cities and Mayor of Luvern, noted the “devastating impact of the drug epidemic on families and communities across Greater Minnesota” and expressed appreciation for the state’s efforts to work with local governments to allocate funds.

“While no amount of money can compensate for the loss of life, funding under these national settlement agreements will help our communities provide services and resources to overcome this crisis,” said Baustian.

According to the Ellison office, the state’s settlement fund will be monitored and distributed by the Opioid Epidemic Response Advisory Board. Under current state law, the state’s opioid control fund is distributed to local governments, but an agreement between the state and local governments requires the parties to change the law at the 2022 legislative session, according to Ellison’s office.

The local government emission control fund, created at the expense of the settlement’s funds, will be distributed among all the districts participating in the settlement. It will also include municipalities with a population of 30,000 or more that have a public health department or that have filed a lawsuit against the defendants in the settlement.

World Nation News Desk
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