Teva, Allergan open to settling 3500+ lawsuits for more than $5B as negotiations continue — report
Several companies have doled out tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars to settle litigation surrounding the role they allegedly had during the opioid epidemic on the state level. In the case of companies like Purdue Pharma, a federal judge approved a settlement that would see states receive up to $6 billion over the next 18 years.
Now, a report hints that Teva and Allergan may be lining up to be the next multibillion-dollar settlement.
According to three sources who spoke with Bloomberg earlier this week, Teva and Allergan hinted at a willingness to pay a combined $5+ billion to settle more than 3,500 lawsuits over allegations that their opioid painkillers played a role in the opioid epidemic, that the companies had engaged in misleading marketing of opioids and at least for Teva, downplayed the risks of opioid addiction.
The sources also told Bloomberg that while the drugmakers had been in mediation talks with plaintiffs for over a year, no formal offer has been made or finalized.
Before anything can be finalized, there’s still a detail that needs to be hammered out — who pays how much? Bloomberg’s sources said the companies are arguing over an indemnity agreement that Teva signed back in 2016 when it agreed to pay $40+ billion to buy Allergan Generics before Allergan got picked up by AbbVie. Allergan claims that the agreement Teva signed shifted its opioid liabilities and costs to Teva.
Teva declined to comment on the report, and AbbVie did not respond to a request for comment before publication.
It would be the newest development in a long-standing saga after the two drugmakers reached settlements with states such as Florida and Rhode Island so far this year. But in some cases, they are still showing up in courts such as in West Virginia, a state hard-hit by the opioid epidemic and has already seen other drug companies such as J&J and Endo settle with the state for $99 million and $26 million, respectively.
If the potential deal does get offered, it would be a major next step for Teva CEO Kare Schultz, who already made it clear back in February that he thinks a national settlement for opioid litigation is within reach by early 2023. It could take a decent chunk out of what is left to be settled on a national scale after Teva originally offered $250 million in cash and $23 billion in a supply of Narcan to reach a national settlement in 2019.