Jul 8, 2021 - News

Minnesota to get $50M in settlement with opioid maker Purdue Pharma

A photo of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison speaking at a podium.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Oxycontin maker Purdue Pharma and its owners, the Sackler family, will pay the state of Minnesota $50 million over the next nine years as part of a broader $4.3 billion settlement with multiple states.

Why it matters: The state plans to use that money for addiction prevention, treatment, and efforts to help residents recover from the opioid crisis that Oxycontin contributed to, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced yesterday.

  • The money should help plug a shortfall in what was supposed to be a $20 million-a-year state opioid response fund, generated by fees on companies that make and distribute prescription painkillers here.
  • More than 4,800 Minnesotans died of opioid overdoses from 2000 to 2019, according the state Department of Health. Opioid-involved deaths in the state surged by 59% in 2020, during the pandemic.

Driving the news: Minnesota was one of 15 additional states to sign on to a Purdue Pharma exit plan. Those states pushed for a better settlement and got an additional $1.5 billion, plus the disclosure of 30 million internal documents.

  • Ellison said he was part of the push to get those documents released.

What he's saying: "When it came to the Sackler family, they knew the damage they were causing — and they caused it anyway, all for the sake of personal profit and their own self-glorification," he said. "Now with this resolution, the whole world will see what they did."

What's ahead: The additional 15 states signing off leaves just nine states and the District of Columbia remaining opposed to the plan.

  • The Associated Press reports that the latest batch of states make it more likely the federal bankruptcy judge will confirm the deal.

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