The bankrupt opioid manufacturer Mallinckrodt will pay Colorado $18 million for its role in fueling the opioid epidemic, according to the Colorado Attorney General’s Office.
Attorney General Phil Weiser announced the settlement Tuesday, the latest development in the AG’s office opioid litigation initiative, which is on track to deliver more than $520 million in legal settlements to Colorado to support treatment, recovery, prevention, and education programs throughout the state, a news release said.
“For years, Mallinckrodt pushed millions of opioid pills into our communities, and now the company is paying for the addiction crisis they contributed to and the harm they caused,” Weiser said in the release. “I am proud of my department’s hard work to hold accountable those companies that created and fueled the opioid crisis. The $520 million we have worked to secure will help local communities to provide much-needed drug treatment, recovery, and prevention programs.”
Mallinckrodt, headquartered in Ireland, was one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers in the U.S., according to Tuesday’s news release. Among other drugs, Mallinckrodt manufactured a generic version of the opioid drug oxycodone. In October 2020, while facing investigations and lawsuits from multiple states, including Colorado, the company filed for bankruptcy. Before filing bankruptcy, the attorneys general negotiated a settlement with Mallinckrodt that was recently approved by bankruptcy courts in the U.S. and Ireland.
“A U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency database shows that from 2006 to 2012, one of Mallinckrodt’s subsidiary companies distributed 28.9 billion generic opioid pills in the U.S. — more than 80 pills for each person in the country,” according to the release.
The settlement funds received from Mallinckrodt will be distributed to state regions and local governments according to a framework announced in August of 2021.
Under settlements announced to date, Colorado will also receive $385 million from Johnson & Johnson and three of the largest drug distributors in the country and $10 million from McKinsey & Company. In addition, the state is expected to receive $60 million from a nationwide Teva/Allergan settlement announced last week, and at least $50 million from Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family when the company exits bankruptcy.
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