Drugmaker Teva reaches opioid settlements worth $4.3 billion involving multiple states
The deal in principle would rank among the larger ones in a yearslong trend of companies settling complicated lawsuits over the toll from an addiction and overdose epidemic. That includes a $117 million settlement with Florida announced in March.
Drugmaker Teva has announced an agreement to settle lawsuits over the allegations that it helped fuel the U.S. opioid epidemic.
The deal calls for the Israel-based company to pay more than $4.3 billion to state and local governments and Native American tribes over 13 years.
The total includes settlements the company has already reached with individual states and providing at no charge a drug that reverses overdoses.
In their lawsuits, state governments and others claimed the company promoted Actiq and Fentora, prescription opioids approved to treat cancer pain, plus generic opioids including oxycodone for use for non-cancer purposes.
The states also said the company downplayed the addiction risks and encouraged doctors to continue to increase the doses they prescribed.
These states were involved in negotiations: California, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
The company was found liable last year in a trial involving claims in New York state; that will still head to a damages phase unless a separate deal is reached on those claims.
In March, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced a settlement with Teva that steers $177 million to the state, including money earmarked for cities and counties to be used on opioid abatement, including prevention efforts, treatment or recovery services. In addition, Teva agreed to give Florida $84 million worth of the company’s anti-overdose drug, generically known as naloxone hydrochloride.
That was announced as part of an $870 million arrangement that included settlements with Teva, CVS Health Corp., CVS Pharmacy Inc. and Allergan PLC. In May, Walgreens agreed to pay Florida a $683 million settlement after a four-week trial in Pasco County.
The funds brought the total Florida has collected from opioid lawsuits to more than $3 billion.
Florida was the first state to successfully finish legal battles against companies it holds responsible for the epidemic, according to Moody, who added that the state loses about 21 lives a day to opioid abuse.
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Information from News Service of Florida was used in this report.