Attorney General Ellison, states reach tentative $4.25B agreement with major opioid manufacturer Teva
Settlement in principle on financial terms will bring tens of millions of dollars into Minnesota as opioid epidemic continues to be public-safety and public-health crisis
AG Ellison ‘encouraged’ by framework, will review final terms to ‘make sure it is the best deal for Minnesota’
July 27, 2022 (SAINT PAUL) — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said today that he is encouraged by the progress in talks with opioid manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals and looks forward to reviewing the $4.25 billion agreement framework that was announced late yesterday, which would bring tens of millions of dollars into Minnesota.
Attorney General Ellison issued the following statement:
There’s no amount of money that can make up for the death and destruction that these companies caused by putting their profits before people’s lives. Even so, I have aggressively held these companies accountable for the harm they’ve caused in order to protect the safety and health of Minnesotans. I’m encouraged by the potential of this framework to provide urgently needed resources to keep Minnesotans safe from the epidemic and restore families and communities.
This agreement can build upon the momentum and existing structures that states and subdivisions have created through the previous opioid settlements to support our communities in doing this important work. I look forward to reviewing the final terms of the settlement to make sure it is the best deal for Minnesota. If it is, it will mean more money will go to where the pain is, and I hope cities and counties sign on.
I am hopeful that this settlement will also include robust transparency and document disclosure terms. We need to know what the opioid companies did to us to that no one will ever forget, and no one can ever do it again.
Epidemic continues to be crisis of public safety and health
The opioid epidemic continues to be a crisis of public safety and public health in Minnesota. The effect of the COVID-19 epidemic on addiction and mental health in Minnesota underscores the continuing importance of the Attorney General’s years-long efforts to combat the opioid crisis and hold opioid companies accountable.
Preliminary data from the Minnesota Department of Health shows that from 2020 to 2021, opioid-involved overdose deaths increased by 35%, to an all-time high of 924 deaths in 2021. For every drug overdose death in Minnesota, there were approximately 10 nonfatal drug overdoses, including 7,698 drug overdoses in the Twin Cities metro area and more than 5,000 nonfatal drug overdoses in Greater Minnesota. The harms of the epidemic are felt disproportionately by communities of color: American Indians in Minnesota are seven times more likely than white people to die of a drug overdose, and African Americans are twice as likely.
Latest in a string of settlements with opioid companies
In addition to the settlement framework with Teva Pharmaceuticals announced today, Attorney General Ellison’s office has reached six other major settlements with opioid companies in the last two and a half years:
- with manufacturer Johnson + Johnson and distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson in July 2021;
- with Purdue Pharma, manufacturer of the blockbuster opioid OxyContin, in July 2021;
- with international consultancy McKinsey in February 2021;
- with manufacturer Mallinckrodt in October 2020; and
- with manufacturer Insys in January 2020.
Attorney General Ellison’s office maintains a page on its website with detailed information about the State’s settlements with opioid companies.