Pharma company agrees to pay Colorado $18 million in opioid settlement

Margaret Jackson

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By Margaret Jackson / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) Bankrupt opioid manufacturer Mallinckrodt will pay colorado $18 million for its role in fueling the opioid epidemic.

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser’s announcement Tuesday is the latest in his 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,” Weiser said. “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 was one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers in the U.S. and made a generic version of the opioid drug oxycodone.

Facing investigations and lawsuits from multiple attorneys general, the company filed for bankruptcy in October 2020. Before filing for bankruptcy, the attorneys general negotiated a settlement with Mallinckrodt approved by bankruptcy courts in the U.S. and Ireland.

Mallinckrodt’s corporate headquarters are in Ireland, but it is one of the largest U.S. manufacturers of generic drugs. 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.

Under settlements with other drug manufacturers, the state will receive $385 million from Johnson & Johnson and three of the largest drug distributors in the country, plus $10 million from McKinsey & Co.

In addition, Colorado expects 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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