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Michigan set to get part of $26 billion opioid settlement

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Michigan could receive around $800 million dollars in a multi-state opioid settlement that reached final approval Friday.

The agreement is with pharmaceutical distributors Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen, as well as drug manufacturer Johnson & Johnson.

“The settlements will equip communities across the nation to better address this crisis – resources that were not previously available but will be absolutely crucial in abatement efforts,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a press release.

The state said the deal requires the distributors to create a centralized system for tracking opioid usage and stop the shipping of suspicious orders. The agreement also bans Johnson & Johnson from selling or promoting opioids.

The distributors said over 90% of eligible state and local governments signed on.

“The settlement will provide thousands of communities across the United States with up to approximately $19.5 billion over 18 years,” a joint press release for AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson read.

Johnson & Johnson released its own statement saying it will give up to $5 billion to the nationwide settlement.

“The company no longer sells prescription opioid medications in the United States as part of our ongoing efforts to focus on transformational innovation and serving unmet patient needs,” the press release said.

In total, the settlement involves Michigan, 46 other states, and over 4,000 local governments, including most of the local governments in Michigan.

The terms of the settlement require at least 85% of the money to go toward ending the opioid epidemic.

Michigan plans on using its money toward a range of programs, including providing the overdose medication naloxone to training first responders and increasing its distribution.

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