Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced Aug. 2 that bankrupt opioid manufacturer Mallinckrodt will pay Colorado $18 million for its role in fueling the opioid epidemic.
The AG’s Office announced this settlement is the latest in Weiser’s 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.
“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. I am proud of my department’s hard work to hold accountable those companies that created and fueled the opioid crisis. The $520 million dollars we have worked to secure will help local communities to provide much needed drug treatment, recovery, and prevention programs,” Weiser said in the Aug. 2 news release.
According to the AG’s Office, Mallinckrodt was one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers in the U.S. and made a generic version of oxycodone. Facing investigations and lawsuits from multiple attorneys general, the AG’s Office said the company filed for bankruptcy in October 2020. Prior to filing bankruptcy, the attorneys general negotiated a settlement with Mallinckrodt that was recently approved by bankruptcy courts in the U.S. and in Ireland, where the company’s corporate headquarters are.
Mallinckrodt’s generic drugs sold in the U.S. include opioids similar to brand-name drugs. According to the AG’s Office, 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.
In addition to paying to settle the claims against it, the AG’s Office announced Mallinckrodt will be subject to stringent, legally enforceable terms that’ll prevent the company from marketing opioids and ensure that systems are in place to prevent misrepresentation and misuse. Mallinckrodt is also required to fund a document repository with the company’s records to make public its role in fueling the opioid epidemic. To date, more than one million of the company’s documents have been released according to the AG’s Office.
The funds received from Mallinckrodt will be distributed to regions and local governments according to a framework announced in August 2021. Under settlements announced thus far, the state will also receive $385 million from Johnson & Johnson and three of the largest drug distributors in the country and $10 million from McKinsey & Company.
The AG’s Office also announced 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.