Teva's opioid settlement moves forward with participation from 48 states
Teva Pharmaceuticals only has two more states to go before the entire nation has either reached settlements or agreed to participate in a settlement deal with the generics giant over its role in the US opioid epidemic, the company announced today.
With 48 states under its belt, Teva said it’s at “a sufficient level” to move forward with its nationwide settlement agreement to resolve opioid-related claims. Teva will still continue to pursue the two holdout states, New Mexico and Nevada, in a bid to get them to participate, the company told Endpoints News via email.
Now that the nationwide agreement is moving forward, the enrollment period for states’ subdivisions, such as cities and counties, is open. The subdivisions have 90 days to join.
“Given the very positive response from states, the Company remains optimistic that the nationwide settlement will garner similar support from the states’ subdivisions,” Teva said in a statement, adding that it “remains in the Company’s best interest – and in the interest of those impacted by the opioid crisis – to settle these cases and to continue to focus on the patients Teva serves every day.”
As part of the agreement previously reached with states’ attorneys general and lawyers for the states and subdivisions, Teva will admit no wrongdoing.
In July, Teva execs discussed the deal in an earnings call, announcing the company had agreed to pay up to $4.25 billion over 13 years to settle opioid litigation, as well as $100 million to Native American tribes. That number included the cases that had already settled at the time for about $550 million.
Teva recently reported $195 million in legal settlements and loss contingencies, compared to just $3 million in the third quarter of 2021, according to SEC filings.
The company has already reached settlements with multiple jurisdictions, including Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Rhode Island, West Virginia, San Francisco and New York. The latter settlement concluded in November, with the state getting more than half a billion dollars, Endpoints reported. That includes roughly $210.5 from the national settlement and another $313.3 million from a trial win.
Naloxone hydrochloride nasal spray, which can reverse an opioid overdose, is also part of several settlements. Teva announced the launch of its generic version of Narcan in December 2021.
In San Francisco, Teva will have to pay out $24.8 million over 13 years, as well as provide naloxone hydrochloride nasal spray in an amount valued at $20 million (valued at wholesale acquisition cost) over 10 years. Teva already settled with West Virginia as well, paying out $75 million over 15 years and $8 million in attorneys’ fees as well as $27 million worth of generic Narcan over 10 years.
Teva has been accused of deceptive marketing tactics around opioids, including downplaying the risk of addiction and overstating their benefits. But it’s not the only one.
Walmart announced a $3 billion opioid-related settlement in November, joining CVS and Walgreens. The New York Attorney General’s office accused Walmart of contributing to the US opioid crisis by failing to regulate opioid prescriptions at its stores. AbbVie’s Allergan agreed to pay up to $2.37 billion to state and local governments affected by the opioid crisis.
According to the CDC, more than 263,000 people died in the United States from overdoses involving prescription opioids from 1999 to 2020, while overdose deaths involving prescription opioids increased by nearly five times during that timeframe.