Drugmaker Teva to settle latest opioid lawsuits nationally

The states claimed the company and its distributor, Anda, failed to comply with monitoring and reporting requirements for suspicious orders.

The multibillion-dollar settlement is to be paid out over 13 years, with most of the money to be spent on fighting the opioid epidemic. The settlement includes providing up to $1.2 billion worth of naloxone, a drug that reverses overdoses, at no charge — although states could take a small cash payment instead, if they chose. It also includes payments from various settlements the company has recently reached with individual states.

New York is not included in the settlement, although the parties say negotiations with the state are ongoing. A jury there last year found the company liable in a lawsuit involving claims by the state government and two counties. The lawsuit will proceed to the damages phase if no settlement has been reached with Teva before that.

Teva said it does not expect to go to trial on any other opioid claims this year, even as claims against other companies continue to go to court.

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

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, a key negotiator, said the settlement would help address the crisis, which has become more deadly in recent years. “Every week I meet people whose lives have been devastated by the opioid epidemic,” Stein said in a statement. “Many families and friends have suffered the traumatic loss of an overdose. But I also meet inspiring people who are recovering and living happy lives — and this agreement will provide treatment and support to thousands more North Carolinians. will help them get what they need to be free from addiction.

To finalize the deal, it needs approval from state and local governments and tribes.

“While this agreement is an important step forward, we also recognize that this alone will not end the opioid epidemic,” lead attorneys representing local governments said in a statement. “We will continue to work to hold companies accountable up and down the opioid supply chain.”

According to Associated Press data, more than $40 billion in proposed and completed settlements of opioid claims have been made in recent years.

Earlier this year, drugmaker Johnson & Johnson finalized a $5 billion settlement, and three national drug distribution firms — AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson — finalized settlements worth a total of $21 billion. . Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, is trying to convince a court to let it move forward with a deal that includes up to $6 billion in cash from members of the Sackler family, which owns the company. The potential deal would also transform the company into a new entity with profits to be used to deal with the crisis.