On February 24, 2021, Attorney General Josh Stein announced a $573 million multi-state settlement with McKinsey & Company, resolving investigations into the company’s role in advising opioid companies how to promote their drugs and profit from the opioid epidemic. The settlement provides nearly $19 million over five years for North Carolina, with all funds devoted to addressing the opioid epidemic.
The 2021-2022 state budget devoted $15.7 million from the McKinsey settlement to expanding employment and transportation supports for individuals in recovery from opioid use disorder, supporting individuals with opioid use disorder who are involved in the criminal justice system, expanding evidence-based treatment supports and improving connections to care, and developing evidence-based supportive housing services. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services selected 20 health care centers, treatment clinics and community-based providers throughout the state to spend the money on the specified purposes. Read the press release.
Attorney General Josh Stein was a lead negotiator in achieving a national settlement with the opioid manufacturer Mallinckrodt. Under the settlement, Mallinckrodt filed for bankruptcy in October 2020 and agreed to pay $1.725 billion over eight years into a trust that will go toward abating the opioid crisis. This includes an estimated $35 million coming to North Carolina communities to support treatment, recovery, harm reduction, and other life-saving programs and services. North Carolina’s share of the Mallinckrodt payment will be distributed among state and local governments pursuant to the North Carolina Memorandum of Agreement on the use of opioid settlement funds. A bankruptcy court approved the settlement in February 2022, and Mallinckrodt exited bankruptcy and made its first payment in June 2022. North Carolina’s state and local governments received their first payment from the Mallinckrodt settlement, totaling $4.97 million, in January 2023.
On August 17, 2022, Attorney General Josh Stein announced an agreement in principle with opioid maker Endo International plc and its lenders that would provide up to $450 million over 10 years to participating states and local governments and ban promotion of Endo’s opioids. Read the press release. As part of the agreement, Endo filed for bankruptcy and a bankruptcy court must approve the settlement’s final terms.
In May 2018, Attorney General Josh Stein sued drug maker Purdue Pharma over deceptive marketing practices that created and fueled the opioid epidemic. In September 2019, he sued eight members of the Sackler family alleging they were the driving forces behind Purdue Pharma’s misconduct.
In July 2021, after years of negotiation, Attorney General Stein announced his support for confirmation of a bankruptcy plan for Purdue Pharma that would make billions of dollars available nationwide to fund efforts to remediate the opioid crisis. This includes an estimated $100 million coming to North Carolina communities to support treatment, recovery, harm reduction, and other life-saving programs and services. Read the announcement.
In December 2021, a federal court ruled the plan proposed by Purdue Pharma did not comply with bankruptcy law. Resolution of the Purdue Pharma bankruptcy is on hold while the ruling is being appealed. The federal court’s decision does not affect the separate settlements with other opioid companies.