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Nessel: Michigan could get up to $800 million in national opioid settlement

person shaking prescription pills from bottle into hand
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State attorneys general have settled a number of lawsuits against opioid makers and distributors—and Michigan could get up to $800 million as a result, state Attorney General Dana Nessel said on Wednesday.

The $26 billion proposed nationwide settlement is with drug-maker Johnson & Johnson, and three prescription drug distributors: Cardinal Health, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen. This agreement should settle most of those lawsuits. Numerous state and local governments had sued the companies, accusing them of fueling the opioid addiction crisis.

Nessel said the settlement contains provisions that require “significant industry changes” that will prevent that from ever happening again. She said that depending on an allocation formula that takes into account population, overdose death rates, and other factors, Michigan stands to receive up to nearly $800 million over the life of the settlement.

“This historic settlement will help save lives and further combat the ongoing crisis, while also ensuring those who created this catastrophe pay for our collective recovery,” Nessel said in a press release. “For far too long, local communities have carried the burden of fighting against the opioid epidemic and felt those in a position to advocate for them weren’t listening. This settlement will bring much-needed financial support for ongoing intervention, services and treatment efforts statewide, and eventual healing for Michigan families.” 

States have 30 days to review and decide whether to sign on to the settlement. Local governments will have 150 days after that.

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