Advisory Panel to Recommend How Opioid Settlement Funds Should Be Allocated and Used

October 18, 2021

Minnesota is expected to receive as much as $337 million in the multistate settlement with opioids manufacturer Johnson & Johnson and others.

The League has been invited to participate on a state advisory panel that will make recommendations for a statewide framework for the allocation and use of funds to be received as part of a historic settlement with opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson and others.

Jamie Verbrugge, Bloomington City Manager, is the League’s appointee to the panel. League General Counsel Patricia Beety serves as an ex-officio member.

The total price tag of this settlement is $26 billion and requires state and local governments to use most of the money on abatement activities. Minnesota’s share could be as much as $337 million over a period of several years.

About the settlement

The state of Minnesota announced in July that it joined a multistate settlement involving Johnson & Johnson and the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors — Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen.

This settlement comes as part of the national opioids litigation and involves claims that the three distributors failed to fulfill their legal duty to refuse to ship opioids to pharmacies that submitted suspicious drug orders and that Johnson & Johnson misled patients and doctors about the addictive nature of opioid drugs.

Read more about the settlement

The work of the panel

The advisory panel, assembled by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, includes local, state, and community providers with experience and expertise in public health and delivery of services to individuals and families impacted by the opioid epidemic. The purpose of the panel is to recommend a proposed structure — guided by public health considerations — for the distribution and use of opioid settlement funds.

At a minimum, the panel will review:

  • The current Minnesota opioid remediation structure.
  • Opioid and substance use data.
  • The requirements of the opioid settlements.
  • Opioid remediation models put in place by other states.

The panel is targeting early November for coming up with final recommendations, which will be sent to Minnesota’s local governments. Local governments will then have until Jan. 2, 2022, to sign onto the settlement agreement. The more political subdivisions that sign onto the settlement agreement, the more money Minnesota will receive in the settlement.

If you have questions about the advisory panel or would like to provide feedback on opioids-related impacts in your communities, contact League General Counsel Patricia Beety at The League will continue to provide updates and online resources to help cities throughout this process.

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