LANSING, Mich. (WJMN) – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel reminds eligible municipalities to participate in two historic opioid settlements.

The settlements would bring nearly $800 million to Michigan over 18 years. The cutoff date for local governments to receive direct payments is January 2, 2022.

“The participation we’ve seen thus far is promising, but there are still dozens of eligible municipalities that have not yet completed registration,” Nessel said. “I urge all of our state’s eligible municipalities to register for direct payments. This money will bolster prevention and treatment efforts in our communities that have been hardest hit by the opioid crisis.”

There are 277 local units of government, called subdivisions in the settlement agreement, eligible to participate in Michigan based on the settlement terms. Each county is eligible and other municipalities based on the follow criteria may be eligible too:

  • The municipality is currently litigating against the defendants; or
  • the municipality has a population of 10,000 people or more.

A full list of eligible subdivisions is on the Michigan Department of the Attorney General website. Eligible subdivisions can contact for help with the process. Michigan signed onto the proposed settlements in August. They involve Johnson & Johnson, Cardinal Health, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen. The money would be prioritized toward treatment and prevention.

The following overviews the terms of the settlement.

State negotiations were led by Attorneys General Josh Stein (NC), Herbert Slatery (TN) and the attorneys general from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The agreement in principle was reached by all parties in October of 2019 and the parties have been working on the particulars of the settlement since then.   

Funding Overview

  • The three distributors collectively will pay up to $21 billion over 18 years.   
  • Johnson & Johnson will pay up to $5 billion over nine years with up to $3.7 billion paid during the first three years.    
  • The total funding distributed will be determined by the overall degree of participation by both litigating and non-litigating state and local governments.   
  • The substantial majority of the money is to be spent on opioid treatment and prevention.   
  • Each state’s share of the funding has been determined by agreement among the states using a formula that takes into account the population of the state along with the impact of the crisis on the state – the number of overdose deaths, the number of residents with substance use disorder, and the number of opioids prescribed.   

Injunctive Relief Overview

Requires Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen, through court orders, to:  

  • Establish a centralized independent clearinghouse to provide all three distributors and state regulators with aggregated data and analytics about where drugs are going and how often, eliminating blind spots in the current systems used by distributors.   
  • Use data-driven systems to detect suspicious opioid orders from customer pharmacies.  
  • Terminate customer pharmacies’ ability to receive shipments, and report those companies to state regulators, when they show certain signs of diversion.  
  • Prohibit shipping of and report suspicious opioid orders.   
  • Prohibit sales staff from influencing decisions related to identifying suspicious opioid orders.  
  • Require senior corporate officials to engage in regular oversight of anti-diversion efforts.  

Requires Johnson & Johnson, through court orders, to:   

  • Stop selling opioids.    
  • Not fund or provide grants to third parties for promoting opioids.   
  • Not lobby on activities related to opioids.   
  • Share clinical trial data under the Yale University Open Data Access Project.  

A breakdown of how the settlement money is to be spent on opioid treatment and prevention is available here