Michigan to receive $800 million from massive opioid settlement

Michigan will see a sizeable chunk of the $26 billion proposed opioid settlement that drug manufacturers and state attorneys general have agreed to.

According to Attorney General Dana Nessel, "Michigan stands to receive nearly $800 million" from the four companies that agreed to settle. They include Johnson & Johnson and three pharmaceutical distributors: Cardinal Health, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen.

That money is in addition to the $19.5 million the state received following a $573 million lawsuit from a consulting firm.

Most of the money will be spent on opioid treatment and prevention. 

Only the national tobacco settlement in 1998 involved a greater amount of money.

"This settlement will bring much-needed financial support for ongoing intervention, services and treatment efforts statewide, and eventual healing for Michigan families," said Nessel in a statement. 

 RELATED: MDHHS launches new $900,000 'real-life' ad campaign for opioid addiction

In addition to the money, the settlement requires companywide changes that more closely monitor the distribution of opioids and cut back on suspicious orders. Johnson & Johnson is prohibited from selling opioids or lobbying activities on behalf of opioids. 

According to the settlement, the three distributes will need 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. 

They'll also pay up to $21 billion over 18 years. 

Johnson & JOhnson will pay up to $5 billion over nine years.