Deal Would Have Teva Pay $4.25 Billion to Settle US Opioid Lawsuits

The deal follows a string of trials and settlements totaling $550 million in separate cases around the country.

Generic drug manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals would pay $4.25 billion to settle more than 2500 lawsuits with states, local governments, and tribes over its role in the opioid epidemic under a settlement announced late Tuesday.

Teva, based in Israel, was one of the largest makers of prescription painkillers at the peak of the opioid crisis. CDC data show the epidemic has claimed more than 932,000 US lives since 1999, including 69,000 in 2020.

The deal follows a string of trials and settlements totaling $550 million in separate cases around the country. It was announced by several state attorneys general who brokered the tentative agreement. A total of 12 states have taken part in the negotiations, according to a statement from California Attorney General Rob Bonta, who noted that talks between Teva and New York State continue.

The news was included in Teva's second-quarter results released Tuesday.

“This agreement is another major step toward addressing the opioid crisis and healing our communities,” Bonta said. “Nothing can undo the harm opioids makers like Teva have inflicted on families across the country or the lives lost to the opioid epidemic. But this agreement will provide much-needed relief for its victims and importantly, critical funds for overdose prevention and opioid addiction disorder treatment.”

Teva makes Actiq and Fentora, which are branded fentanyl products for cancer pain, as well as generic opioids that include oxycodone. The states claimed Teva had promoted rapid-onset fentanyl drugs for use outside cancer treatment, downplayed addiction risks, and failed to comply with suspicious order monitoring requirements.

States have the option of accepting supplies of naloxone, which can reverse an opioid overdose. The deal calls for Teva to provide up to $1.2 billion worth of generic naloxone, according to Bona’s statement.

The California official said that final settlement “remains contingent on agreement on critical business practice changes and transparency requirements.” Both Allergan, a generics manufacturer acquired by Teva, and various state governments must sign off on a final deal.

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