Attorney General Phil Weiser recovers $18 million from opioid manufacturer Mallinckrodt
Aug. 2, 2022 (DENVER)—Attorney General Phil Weiser announced today that bankrupt opioid manufacturer Mallinckrodt will pay Colorado $18 million for its role in fueling the opioid epidemic.
Today’s announcement 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.
Mallinckrodt was one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers in the U.S. and manufactured a generic version of the opioid drug oxycodone. Facing investigations and lawsuits from multiple attorneys general, including Weiser, 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.
Mallinckrodt’s corporate headquarters are in Ireland, but it is one of the largest manufacturers of generic drugs in the U.S. Mallinckrodt’s generic drugs sold in the U.S. include opioids similar to brand name drugs like oxycodone. 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, Mallinckrodt will be subject to stringent, legally enforceable terms that will 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.
Like Weiser’s other opioid recoveries, the funds received from Mallinckrodt will be distributed to regions and local governments according to a framework announced in August of 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. In addition, 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.