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AG Nessel speaks on opioid settlement

Attorney General Dana Nessel said the money the state won in its lawsuit against the opioid industry will be put towards opioid prevention and treatment programs.
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 7:21 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Attorney General Dana Nessel said the money the state won in its lawsuit against the opioid industry will be put towards opioid prevention and treatment programs.

The opioid crisis is growing. Last year, 93,000 Americans died from drug overdoses. Of those cases, 69,000 involved opioids according to preliminary data from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.

“Its mostly heroin and its mostly shipped in across the border,” said Peter Graham of Sparrow Family Medicine. “Things like fentanyl which is really designed to be an anesthetic used in operations and not to be used on the streets, and those things are really lethal in the wrong hands and the wrong people. So I think its a combination of things.”

The COVID-19 pandemic fueled drug overdose deaths nationwide. Here in Michigan about 2,700 people died from a drug overdose in 2020. That is more people than can fit in Michigan state’s Wharton center.

Major pharmaceutical companies like Johnson and Johnson, Amerisource Bergen, Cardinal Health, and McKessen are paying $26 billion to settle an opioid lawsuit. Michigan is on track to receive $800 million from it. That money will be put towards opioid treatment and preventative care.

Attorney General Dana Nessel said, “They’ll be able to have more beds for their drug rehabilitation program, developed drug courts, money will go to emergency services. It’s very expensive to purchase those products that are used to avoid a person overdosing.”

The settlement requires companywide changes to monitor the distribution of opioids. Johnson and Johnson is prohibited from selling opioids or lobbying for their use. Walgreens in Wayne County is also part of the lawsuit. As of now it’s still pending in court.

News 10 will keep you updated as it progresses.

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