Teva hits $4.25 billion expected payout on opium

Teva Pharmaceuticals, one of the country’s largest generic opioid manufacturers, has announced an agreement in principle with approximately 2,500 local, state and tribal governments about the company’s role in the ongoing opioid epidemic. take place.

The settlement – valued at $4.25 billion – comes after a series of previous trials and settlements in individual cases around the country over the past year.

Although much less well-known, Teva, an Israeli company and its affiliates, produced more prescription opioids during the height of the crisis than well-known opioid manufacturers. like Johnson & Johnson. Production of both generic and branded pain relievers has reduced the output of Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin, the drug that has been immediately linked to overdoses and deaths.

Under the agreement, Teva will make payments over 13 years, directed toward state, local and tribal programs to defuse the opioid crisis, which has only been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. The $4.25 billion total includes nearly $550 million in settlements the company has reached as trials are underway in San Francisco as well as in Florida, West VirginiaTexas, Louisiana and Rhode Island.

States and communities may choose to accept part of their payment in reverse drug overdoses, rather than cash.

The deal was negotiated by representatives for about a dozen state attorneys general. “Today’s announcement once again shows that those responsible for this tragic matter will be held accountable and help will be available to those affected by the opioid pandemic,” said Tom Miller, attorney general. Iowa’s attorney, whose office was involved in the negotiations, said in the statement.

Teva said in a statement, “While the settlement will not include an admission of wrongdoing, it is in our best interest to put these cases behind our back and continue to focus on those issues.” patients we serve every day.”

People close to the negotiations say that about 10 to 12 percent of the money will be allocated to pay the fees of the attorneys, who, starting in 2013, have brought lawsuits against the company.

In 2016, Teva acquired Actavis, a joint unit of Allergan. For Teva’s settlement to be finalized, Allergan must also reach an agreement with these plaintiffs. Attorneys familiar with the negotiations said they expect that announcement to be made soon.

The deal is also subject to a majority of state, local and tribal governments voting in favor.

Lawyers on the executive committee negotiating for the local government urged everyone to support the hard-won deal: “We encourage all of these groups to sign on to this agreement to allow these resources to come in. hands of those who need them as quickly as possible,” they said in a statement.

While that outcome seems likely, one participating state, out of dozens of states that have negotiated the terms, has yet to sign off: New York, along with Nassau and Suffolk counties, win Teva in a civil jury trial last December. In the shadow of that second phase of that trial to determine financial remedies, New York is still negotiating with the company, according to a spokesman for the New York attorney general’s office.

Making an acceptable offer from Teva has been an especially protracted battle for the states, tribes and cities that have brought cases against it. While Purdue Pharma, for example, is often associated with promoting and misleading advertising of its branded drugs to doctors, generic drug manufacturers do not officially make sales calls. goods for them. Teva insists that it does not market its opioids to doctors.

One of Teva .’s initial settlement proposal, in 2019, consisted almost exclusively of medication, along with a small amount of cash. While Johnson & Johnson and three drug distributors also participated in the initial offer that has continued reached an agreement two years later, Teva continued to sue.

But in December 2020, Senate Finance Committee published findings that specifically criticize Teva, among other manufacturers, for the millions of dollars it has paid out to tax-exempt groups lobbying lawmakers and others, pushing patients to continue greater access to pain relievers. At trial, the plaintiffs said that Teva, which took a dominant position in the generic drug market by acquiring smaller companies, ignored red flags such as overwhelming drug orders.

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