Graham Kilmer
MKE County

Another Opioid Settlement Anticipated This Year

Settlement with Endo International likely to send money to Milwaukee.

By - May 25th, 2023 03:44 pm

Pills by Tom Varco (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.

Pills by Tom Varco (Own work) (CC BY-SA 3.0), via Wikimedia Commons.

Milwaukee County recently received a historic settlement from drug companies that have had a hand in the opioid epidemic. And now another settlement is on its way.

Endo International PLC, a pharmaceutical manufacturer, filed for bankruptcy in 2022 and agreed to a $450 million settlement. That deal will send settlement funds to 36 states, including Wisconsin.

We would anticipate that the funds would flow from the settlement within this fiscal year,” Karen Tidwall, deputy Corporation Counsel, recently told county supervisors

Tidwall did not say how much Milwaukee County is expected to receive.

Due to a 2020 bill passed in anticipation of these settlement agreements with opioid manufacturers and distributors, 70% of all settlement funds received by the state must be distributed to local governments. The idea behind the legislation is that counties and local governments are already on the frontline of the opioid epidemic, with their EMS services, behavioral health agencies and public health departments.

Whatever the settlement for the county ends up being, the county has already received the largest settlement for a county or municipality in Wisconsin history thanks to its part to its role in sweeping multi-district litigation against opioid manufacturers and distributors.

To resolve that litigation, in 2021, the county received $56 million through a settlement with producers, and this year received another $45.3 million from opioid distributors. The most recent settlement was with major corporations and pharmaceutical companies including Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Allergan Finance, Walgreen Co., Walmart, CVS Health Corporation and CVS Pharmacy, Inc.

The Endo settlement also won’t be the last. The county is still involved in two other lawsuits related to the opioid epidemic. One against the Sackler family and their company Purdue Pharma, the maker of Oxycontin. The other is against an advisor to Purdue: the global consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

The county’s Corporation Counsel Margaret Daun has previously remarked on the shocking details of these cases. “They knew they were killing people, and they tried and successfully created marketing campaigns to push larger dosages to more people who didn’t need them, knowing that people would die,” she said. “They are criminals, all of them, and not a single one of them has gone to jail. The best we can get is money.”

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Categories: Health, MKE County

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