Minnesota's share of opioid settlement could top $300M

Minnesota stands to collect more than $300 million under a $26 billion settlement among states and opioid manufacturers and distributors, Attorney General Keith Ellison said Wednesday.

Ellison said in a statement that the settlement will bring much-needed relief to communities that have been devastated by the opioid crisis.

The attorney general said Minnesota's share could be as much as $337 million over 18 years, with significant payments frontloaded in the first five years. The spending will be overseen by Minnesota's Opioid Epidemic Response Advisory Council.

"No amount of money can bring back the nearly 5,000 lives we lost in Minnesota or fully restore the communities devastated in every part of our state," Ellison said. "But it is still critically important to hold these companies financially accountable for their role in creating and extending the opioid crisis, and this agreement does that and more."

The deal calls for drugmaker Johnson & Johnson to pay up to $5 billion, with billions more from the major national drug distributors. AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health are each to contribute $6.4 billion. McKesson is to pay $7.9 billion.

States have 30 days to sign on and local governments have until Jan. 1 to join. Ellison urged communities to do so. The more governments that sign on, the more the industry will pay.

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