MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Josh Kaul today announced a global framework agreement between state attorneys general, local subdivisions, and Mallinckrodt (MNK), its subsidiaries, and certain other affiliates. MNK is currently the largest generic opioid manufacturer in the United States. In the agreement, MNK agrees to pay $1.6 billion in cash to a trust that will cover the costs of opioid addiction treatment and related efforts, with the potential for increased payment to the trust. MNK also agrees that its future generics opioid business will be subject to strict rules that will prevent marketing and ensure systems are in place to prevent diversion.
Opioids are a family of drugs including prescription painkillers and illegal drugs like heroin. In 2017, more people died in Wisconsin from an opioid overdose than from motor vehicle accidents, suicide, or firearms, a total of 926 people.
“Getting accountability from pharmaceutical companies is an important part of our strategy for fighting the opioid epidemic,” said AG Kaul. “With this agreement, more resources will be available to help combat this crisis.”
In March of 2019, Wisconsin Department of Justice joined multistate investigations of opioid distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson. In May of 2019, Attorney General Kaul announced lawsuits filed against two Purdue Pharma entities and Richard S. Sackler for deceptive and false marketing practices in the sale of opioids.