Fighting the Opioid Epidemic in Minnesota

This website is for cities and counties who have received notice of 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.

The Minnesota Attorney General’s Investigation of Fraudulent Marketing Practices of Opioid Manufacturers and Distributors

How Cities and Counties Can Join the Settlements with Opioid Distributors and Johnson & Johnson

Minnesotans who have been harmed by opioids or suffer from substance use disorder cannot join these settlements. Although individuals do not have the opportunity to directly obtain settlement funds, these settlements will benefit individuals because they will provide substantial funds to the state and cities and counties for abatement of the opioid epidemic across the state.  Individuals who have legal claims against opioid companies should contact a private attorney.

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. 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 over $300 million, but could be as little as half that amount if cities and counties do not sign on.

Settlement Timeline

Notice of the settlements was sent to Minnesota cities and counties on September 28, 2021. In order for Minnesota to get the most amount of money possible, cities and counties must sign on to the settlements by January 2, 2022. Any city or county that does not sign on to the settlement cannot directly receive any of the settlement funds. Cities and counties can sign on to the settlements by visiting this website, and entering the unique registration code that was on the notice your subdivision received.

Not all cities and counties received notice. The notice was sent to cities and counties that can be found on Exhibit G of the settlements, which are those subdivisions eligible to receive direct allocations from the subdivision funds in the settlements. By default, that includes counties, as well as litigating cities and cities with a population of 10,000 or greater. Although not all cities will receive a direct allocation from the settlements, those cities will still benefit from the opioid remediation efforts that take place in their communities. Those cities are also able to request grants for opioid remediation programs from the state’s opioid remediation fund, which are distributed via the Opioid Epidemic Response Advisory Council and the Department of Human Services.  If your subdivision did not receive notice of the settlements but wishes to sign on, you can complete the settlement participation forms located below and send the completed forms to opioids@ag.state.mn.us.

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 looks forward to working with cities, counties, and other stakeholders to reach an agreement on allocation and distribution of settlement funds. These discussions are ongoing and this website will be updated periodically with additional information.   

Notice of the settlements was sent to Minnesota cities and counties on September 28, 2021. 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
  • Carly Melin, Director of Government Affairs
  • 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.