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.

Illustration: Assistant Editor Kathy Wong for Endpoints News

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