S.C. attorney general announces updated settlement with opioid manufacturer

S.C. attorney general announces updated settlement with opioid manufacturer
Mallinckrodt said Monday that it had begun Chapter 11 proceedings to restructure debt and resolve “several billion dollars of otherwise unmanageable potential legal liabilities.” (Source: Whitney Curtis/AP Images for Mallinckrodt, File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - The nation’s largest generic opioid manufacturer will pay $1.6 billion into a trust as part of a global settlement related to the opioid crisis, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson says.

Millinckrodt, its subsidiaries and certain affiliates reached an updated agreement with state attorneys general and local subdivisions, according to a release from the attorney general’s office. The update, Wilson says, improves a February deal by moving $150 million from the last payment to the first.

“While the opioid crisis continues to claim the lives of South Carolinians, this improved agreement with MNK represents an important step in my Office’s ongoing efforts to hold accountable those who are responsible for the epidemic,” Wilson said. “My Office will continue to work tirelessly to obtain resources for the State to help combat this crisis.”

MNK will pay $1.6 billion cash into a trust that will go toward abating the opioid crisis, including valid claims related to MNK’s role in the opioid crisis raised by non-governmental claimants, attorney general’s spokesman Robert Kittle said.

MNK will pay the $1.6 billion according to the following schedule:

  • $450 million upon emergence from bankruptcy;
  • $200 million annually on first and second anniversary of emergence from bankruptcy; and
  • $150 million annually on third through seventh anniversaries of emergence from bankruptcy.

“MNK also agrees that its opioid business will be subject to stringent injunctive relief that, among other things, will prevent marketing and ensure systems are in place to prevent drug misuse,” Kittle said in the release. “Since the February settlement, MNK has taken on additional liability due to other legal issues and the impact of COVID-19.”

As a result of the additional liabilities, the company announced it would move into bankruptcy, which required the February agreement to be renegotiated.

Details about how much each state will receive, how the money will be distributed, and how the trust will be administered are all still being negotiated, Kittle said.

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