Hennepin County signs onto national opioid settlement

21December 2021

Hennepin County has agreed to participate in a nationwide settlement of claims brought against opioid distributors and manufacturers.

Together with the proposed bankruptcy settlements of two opioid manufacturers, the settlement could bring up to $50 million to the county to address the opioid crisis.

Hennepin County also reached an agreement with the state that will determine how settlement funds are allocated throughout Minnesota. Nearly $300 million will go to local governments and the state from the settlement, with counties and cities directly receiving up to 75 % of that amount — the second-highest allocation to local governments in the country, county officials said in a news release Tuesday.

“While we can never be fully compensated for the tragic toll of opiates on communities across the country, this is a significant step in the right direction. Minnesota counties will be allocated funds which reflect our role in providing support and resources for those who continue to be impacted,” said Hennepin County Board Chair Marion Greene.

Hennepin County plans to use the money for primary prevention, response and treatment and recovery from opioid addiction.

The funds come from proposed settlements with opioid distributors Cardinal Health, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson. Funds are also expected to come from bankruptcy settlements with Purdue Pharma and Mallinckrodt PLC.

State and local governments expect to start receiving funds in 2022. They would continue receiving payments for nine years from Johnson & Johnson and over 18 years from distributors. The timing of any payments from Purdue Pharma and Mallinckrodt have yet to be determined.

Cities and counties have until Jan. 2 to sign on to the settlement agreement. The amount of money a state will receive depends on how many sign on.

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