A bipartisan coalition of 15 state attorneys general reached a settlement of $26 billion with four major drug providers for their role in advancing the opioid epidemic. Of that $26 billion, Michigan will receive up to $800 million, which Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says is just the beginning for opioid compensation in the state.
“If you profited off of people suffering in this state… it shouldn’t be our state tax dollars that clean up the mess. It should be these companies that are responsible.” —Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel
This settlement comes amid Nessel’s investigation into people spreading lies about the 2020 presidential election for potential profit or personal gain, which she says she’s removing herself from because one of the “potential targets” is aiming to run against her in 2022.
Listen: Dana Nessel on historic opioid settlement and 2020 election misinformation investigation.
Dana Nessel is the Michigan Attorney General. She says the $800 million Michigan received from this settlement was based on population, opioid-related mortality rate and the number of opioid pills distributed in the state. “The money will go into alternative treatment forms, pain clinics and other ways for people to manage that pain,” says Nessel, who notes that this settlement is not just financial — it’s about holding pharmaceutical companies accountable and creating intense oversight over how they distribute these products. “If you profited off of people suffering in this state … it shouldn’t be our state tax dollars that clean up the mess. It should be these companies that are responsible.”
Nessel says she’s put up a firewall between herself and her investigation into people spreading lies about the 2020 election for personal or financial gain because one of the potential subjects of the investigation says he plans to run against her for attorney general in 2022. Nessel did not mention that person by name, but attorney Matthew DePerno has said he plans to run against Nessel next year. DePerno has been identified by state Senate Republicans as someone who has pushed false election claims for personal gain.