OPIOID Settlement

Minnesota joined a multi-state settlement agreement August 20, 2021, with pharmaceutical distributors McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen as well as opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson.  This settlement will bring $303 million dollars to the State of Minnesota over an 18-year period.  Minnesota’s Attorney General’s Office announced December 6, 2021, a Memorandum of Agreement with the state’s cities and counties on allocating the settlement funds:  75% to counties and cities, and 25% to the state for opioid abatement.  

Mower County Health and Human Services will get about $1,288,066 overall.  

All funds must be used for opioid mitigation, such as treatment, prevention, recovery, harm reduction, research, and training.  Mower County Health and Human Service will follow the Guiding Principles, created by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health – endorsed by nearly 50 major organizations - to ensure proper spending of opioid litigation funds;

    • Principle 1 - Spend the money to save lives.
    • Principle 2 - Use evidence to guide spending.
    • Principle 3 - Invest in youth prevention.
    • Principle 4 - Focus on racial equity.
    • Principle 5 - Develop a fair and transparent process for deciding where to spend the funding.
    • Download Opioid Principles PDF

The Minnesota Opioids Memorandum of Agreement says the Public Health Department shall serve as the lead agency and chief strategist to identify, collaborate, and respond to local issues as local governments decide how to leverage and disperse opioid settlement funds.

Mower County's Opioid Funding Prioritization Summary

Mower County Health and Human Service’s Public Health Department will be assembling key sectors to be part of an Advisory Council.  The goal is to have members from our community such as people in recovery, family/friends of people in recovery, law enforcement, treatment providers, community leadership, schools, hospitals, medical providers, county and city officials, clergy, human services, and the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community.  This Advisory Council will meet to help guide the spending of National Opioid Settlement dollars to the areas most needed to save lives and prevent further damage.  All meetings will be open to the public.  All meeting minutes will be posted here. 

If you are interested in being a part of this Advisory Council, please call 507-437-9700.

For more information on the settlement, visit:  www.ag.state.mn.us/opioids.

Opioids are drugs used to manage pain, the Minnesota Department of Health says.  Prescription opioids are called “pain relievers” because they often are prescribed for pain – examples are hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, methadone, and fentanyl.  Heroin is an illegal opioid.

Minnesota opioid related data can be found on Minnesota Department of Health’s opioid dashboard. The dashboard contains detailed information on overdose deaths, opioid-related hospital visits, the number of opioid prescriptions dispensed, the prevalence of substance use disorder, and more. 

Mower County Statistics and more information can be found at https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/opioids/countyprofiles/mower.html