Fighting the Opioid Epidemic in Minnesota

This website is for cities and counties who want more information about the settlements with opioid distributors McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen and opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson. If you are a Minnesotan who has been harmed by opioids or is suffering from addiction or opioid use disorder, please see the resources on the side of this page.

The Opioid Crisis in Minnesota

Minnesotans have suffered tremendously from the opioid epidemic. Opioid overdose deaths have increased dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic. Preliminary reports show 654 opioid-involved deaths in Minnesota in 2020, a 59% increase from 2019.

Additional data on the opioid epidemic in Minnesota can be found on Minnesota Department of Health’s opioid dashboard, located here. The dashboard contains detailed information on overdose deaths, opioid-related hospital visits, the number of opioid prescriptions dispensed, the prevalence of substance use disorder, and more. It also includes links to sources where some of the above-referenced data can be tracked on a county-level.

How Cities and Counties Can Join the National Opioid Settlements

On August 20, 2021, the Attorney General’s Office joined historic $26 billion multistate settlement agreements with pharmaceutical distributors McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen, and opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson. The parties to these settlements are states and cities and counties. Tribal nations are negotiating their own separate settlements. Additional information on the settlements can be found here and here. The settlement agreements, which remain subject to sign-on by local governments and final approval by the companies and courts, resolve investigations into the companies’ roles in distributing and marketing opioids.  Minnesota’s maximum share of the settlements is nearly $300 million, but could be as little as half that amount if cities and counties do not sign on.

On December 6, 2021 the Attorney General’s Office announced an agreement with Minnesota cities and counties on how funds from these settlements will be allocated:  75% to counties and cities that sign on, and 25% to the State, to be spent on opioid abatement.

In order to receive payments, cities and counties must sign the Minnesota Opioids State-Subdivision Memorandum of Agreement (MN MOA), and separately sign on to both settlement agreements with Distributors and Johnson & Johnson.  Cities and counties must sign on to the settlements by January 26, 2022. To join the settlements, cities and counties must visit www.nationalopioidsettlement.com and register their subdivision.  Registering is a necessary step toward participation in the settlements.  The notice each subdivision received by mail and email provides its unique subdivision registration code, which must be used to register.

Next Each subdivision, via its local legislative body, should adopt a resolution that authorizes a representative of the subdivision to execute the MN MOA and both subdivision settlement participation forms (Distributors and Johnson & Johnson), which are required to join the settlements. Cities and counties can obtain model resolutions by contacting the Association of Minnesota Counties or the League of Minnesota Cities, or see the models linked below.  The resolutions should be submitted to the subdivision's legislative body (i.e., county commission or city council) for approval.

By January 26, 2022: After the appropriate resolution is passed by each subdivision, the authorized representative should sign the MN MOA, the Distributor Agreement, and the Johnson & Johnson Agreement.  The Distributor and Johnson & Johnson agreements can be signed electronically via DocuSign.  Subdivisions should receive an email with a link to sign electronically upon registering at www.nationalopioidsettlement.com

After signing the MN MOA, subdivisions should send the executed signature page, along with a copy of the resolution authorizing approval, to opioids@ag.state.mn.us.

Below are copies of the MN MOA, the settlements, as well as additional documents and information concerning these historic deals.  The MN MOA and agreements themselves control the terms of the settlements, and cities and counties that are represented by attorneys should consult with their attorneys about participation.

Contact Information

The Attorney General’s Office wants the state to receive the most amount of money possible to help abate the crisis in Minnesota, and is pleased to announce an agreement that achieves that goal, but individual cities and counties still must sign on.  If you have questions about the settlements or any other opioid-related issues, please send an email to opioids@ag.state.mn.us to contact the following attorneys in the Attorney General’s Office:

  • James Canaday, Deputy Attorney General
  • Eric Maloney, Assistant Attorney General
  • Evan Romanoff, Assistant Attorney General

You can also call the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office Opioid Issues phone line at (612) 429-7126 and leave a message regarding any questions you have or any additional information you would like. One of the attorneys listed above will get back to you.

Cities and Counties That Have Signed On

Valid as of January 6, 2022

This site will be supplemented and updated as new information becomes available.