LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – In the second-largest multistate agreement in American history, billions of dollars will be divided among states and cities to address the opioid crisis.
After three years of negotiations, Michigan Attorney General Nessel said a total of $776 million will be coming to the state out of an agreement with the nation’s largest pharmaceutical distributors and Johnson & Johnson.
Around $26 billion will be distributed to communities across the country.
Half will go directly to 269 communities that filed claims related to the damages tied to opioid addiction. The rest will be up to the state legislature on how to distribute the money for the next 18 years.
So how can this money be used? Nessel said her office will be working with local governments and other stakeholders to make sure the funds are used for opioid rehabilitation and addressing issues caused by the crisis. She says this might not fully repair the lives changed by addiction, but it’s a step in the right direction.
“We know that there is absolutely no amount of money that can adequately compensate a family for the loss of their loved one or erase the damage done to all who battled opioid use disorder but this settlement represents our best efforts to hold accountable the distributors and manufacturers for the devastating impact their products have had on the residents of our state,” said Nessel.
The attorney general said the first round of payments will begin this April and July with annual payments following that.
The agreement also requires Johnson & Johnson to stop selling opioids or lobbying in favor of the medication.
J&J must also provide open access to its clinical information.