Fighting the Opioid Epidemic in Minnesota
This website is for people who want more information about Minnesota’s settlements with opioid companies. 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.
*For Minnesota political subdivisions: you should have received a notice via email asking you to join the Teva, Allergan, CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart settlements, and to sign the amended Minnesota Statute-Subdivision Memorandum of Agreement. Participation by local governments is essential to Minnesota receiving the full amount of the settlement funds. Local governments have until April 18, 2023, to join and increase the State’s share. If you have any questions, please reach out to your association or to the Attorney General’s Office using the contact information below.
The Opioid Crisis in Minnesota
Minnesotans have suffered tremendously from the opioid epidemic. Opioid overdose deaths have increased dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data from the Minnesota Department of Health shows that from 2020 to 2021, opioid-involved overdose deaths increased by 44%, to an all-time high of 978 deaths in 2021. Fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic opioid, was involved in the majority of the deaths.
Additional data on the opioid epidemic in Minnesota can be found on Minnesota Department of Health’s drug overdose 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.
The National Opioid Settlements
In July 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. These settlements will bring more than $300 million into Minnesota over the next 18 years to fight the opioid crisis.
In December 2021, the Attorney General’s Office reached an agreement with Minnesota cities and counties on how funds from these settlements will be allocated: 75% to counties and cities, and 25% to the State. The agreement also details how the funds can be used to combat the opioid crisis, including detailed programs and strategies focused on treatment, prevention, and harm reduction.
In December 2022, the Attorney General’s Office joined five additional multistate settlements worth $20.4 billion with major opioid manufacturers Teva Pharmaceuticals and Allergan, and three of the nation’s largest retail pharmacy chains—Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens. Minnesota’s share of these settlements could be around $235 million.
In 2023, the agreement with cities and counties was amended to apply to the five additional settlements above.
The parties to these settlements are states and cities and counties. Tribal nations have negotiated their own separate settlements. Additional information on the tribal settlements can be found here.
- Minnesota Opioid Litigation Backstop Fund
- Minnesota Opioids State-Subdivision Memorandum of Agreement
- Distributor Consent Judgment and Settlement Agreement
- Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) Consent Judgment and Settlement Agreement
- Teva Pharmaceuticals Settlement Agreement
- Allergan Settlement Agreement
- Walmart Settlement Agreement
- CVS Settlement Agreement
- Walgreens Settlement Agreement
- Settlement Payment Amounts to Cities and Counties
Latest in a string of settlements with opioid companies
In addition to the five settlements with Teva, Allergan, Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens, Attorney General Ellison’s office has reached nine other major settlements with opioid companies in the last three years to hold these companies accountable for their role in creating and perpetuating the devastating opioid epidemic:
- Agreement in principle with manufacturer Endo in August 2022;
- Settlements with manufacturer Johnson + Johnson and distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson in July 2021;
- Settlement with Purdue Pharma, manufacturer of the blockbuster opioid OxyContin, in July 2021;
- Settlement with international consultancy McKinsey in February 2021;
- Settlement with manufacturer Mallinckrodt in October 2020; and
- Settlement with manufacturer Insys in January 2020.
If you have questions about the settlements or any other opioid-related issues, please send an email to email@example.com 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.
This site will be supplemented and updated as new information becomes available.