Wisconsin may receive settlement in multistate opioid lawsuit  

According to the Associated Press, Wisconsin legislators are poised to accept the state’s share of a settlement stemming from a multistate lawsuit accusing drug manufacturers and distributors of contributing to the nation’s opioid crisis. The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee is set to vote on whether to accept the money during a meeting today. 

A coalition of states and local governments secured settlements totaling $19.2 billion in November and December with opioid manufacturers Teva and Allergan as well as pharmaceutical chains Walmart, Walgreens, and CVS. 

Wisconsin is in line to receive about $324.3 million, with 30% going to the state and 70% going to county governments. Accepting the settlements will subject the companies to a Wisconsin circuit court order requiring them to make major changes in how prescription opioids are sold and dispensed. 

More than 3,000 lawsuits have been filed by state and local governments, Native American tribes, unions, hospitals, and other entities in state and federal courts over the toll of opioids. Most allege the industry created a public nuisance in a crisis that has been linked to the deaths of 500,000 Americans over the past two decades.