Skip to main content

Opioid settlement agreement with J&J, distributors could bring more than $300M to Minnesota

The money would be paid out over the next 18 years.

Minnesota could receive more than $300 million over the next 18 years as part of a multistate opioid settlement agreement with Johnson & Johnson and three distributors.

The deal was announced Wednesday afternoon by multiple attorneys general, including Keith Ellison, and could ultimately total $26 billion if conditions are met. Up to $337 million of that could be funneled to Minnesota, with most of the funds spent on opioid treatment and prevention, according to Ellison's office.

"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 in a statement. “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." 

J&J will be responsible for as much as $5 billion over the next nine years, with about three-quarters of that being paid out in the first three years. The company must also stop selling opioids and stop lobbying efforts related to opioids.

Three pharmaceutical distributors — Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen — would be be responsible for the remaining $21 billion in payments, which would go out over the next 18 years. They're also required to provide data and analytics to authorities, and must actively track "suspicious" opioid orders. 

To receive the full amount, each participating state will need to sign on to the deal, and a "critical mass" of local governmental bodies must also take steps to support the agreement.

If approved, this settlement agreement would resolve the nearly 4,000 investigations and claims against these companies that have been filed by state and local governments.

According to CNBC, authorities had alleged J&J publicly downplayed the risk of addiction for opioid users, while the distributors were accused of loose regulations that allowed the pills to enter the black market.

Ellison recently announced a similar settlement agreement with Oxycontin manufacturer Purdue Pharma. That deal would send $50 million or more to Minnesota for opioid treatment and prevention.

Next Up


Winter weather advisory issued as Saturday snow arrives

Not huge totals expected, but any snow will likely impact travel.


Report: Ryan Poles is Vikings' 'top choice' for general manager

Poles was one of two finalists revealed on Friday.

Payton Willis

Willis carries shorthanded Gophers to beat Rutgers

The senior scored a career-high 32 points to end a four-game losing streak.


Charges: St. Paul man had sexual contact 'multiple times' with 12-year-old girl

Marcus Steichen, 21, is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

Charges: Mom killed infant son just weeks after getting him back from foster care

The 10-month-old died in her care in Brooklyn Park last April.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Arrests made following fentanyl bust in St. Cloud

Authorities searched two St. Cloud apartments Friday morning.

potatoes 2

Minnesota's 'frozen potato freeway' closure attracts plenty of comment

It was, let's face it, a very Minnesotan reason for a freeway closure.

Screen Shot 2022-01-21 at 9.07.54 AM

U of M fraternity raises money for chef's knee surgery

The GoFundMe has raised around $1,700 of its $5,000 goal.

unsplash restaurant cashier register COVID face mask - crop

7 restaurant, bar groups sue Minneapolis over dining vaccine mandate

"Minneapolis bars and restaurants are being used as pawns..." the lawsuit said.

Screen Shot 2022-01-22 at 7.47.53 AM

Woman fatally shot in St. Paul's North End neighborhood

It's the fourth homicide so far this year in St. Paul.


Wild flip the script, dominate Blackhawks

Ryan Hartman scored twice to earn the first game of a back-to-back.

Hopkins Basketball

Hopkins suffers rare loss to No. 1 ranked Sidwell Friends

The Royals held their own in a battle of the nation's best.


Painkiller pills - (U.S. Air Force photo illustration Tech. Sgt. Mark R. W. Orders-Woempner)

MN to get at least $50M in opioid crisis settlement with Purdue Pharma

The money will go to prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts related to the opioid crisis.

prescription medication drugs opioids pill bottle

Minnesota to receive nearly $8M in McKinsey opioid settlement

The money will go to opioid prevention and education in Minnesota.

hutchinson health hospital

Hutchinson Hospital forgives $184K in medical debt following settlement

The AG's office accused the nonprofit hospital of violating a regulatory agreement.

Pexels - moving boxes

Landlord group sues governor, attorney general over eviction moratorium

The suit argues property owners are left in a bind due to the executive order.

Keith Ellison

AG Ellison announces $81 million settlement with tobacco companies

Ellison's 2018 lawsuit alleged that R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company failed to make required payments to the state.


Bill would make drug companies pay millions for opioid crisis

Manufacturers and wholesalers would be responsible for $20 million annually.

Screen Shot 2020-05-26 at 10.28.52 AM

MN House members say they've 'lost faith' in Hennepin County attorney

They want Attorney General Keith Ellison to handle the case against the officers in George Floyd's death.