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Teva reaches proposed $4.25bn agreement to settle US opioid lawsuits

The figure includes the supply of up to $1.2bn of Teva’s Narcan, a life-saving medication which can reverse an overdose from opioids

Teva

Teva Pharmaceutical (Teva) has reached a nationwide agreement in principle of up to $4.25bn to settle the thousands of lawsuits accusing it of fuelling the US opioid crisis, the company said in a statement.

The Israel-based company said the agreement is with US states, Native American tribes and local plaintiffs, with the payment spread over 13 years.

The $4.25bn, plus approximately $100m for the tribes, includes the supply of up to $1.2bn of the company’s generic version of Narcan (naloxone hydrochloride nasal spray) – a life-saving medication which can reverse an overdose from opioids – over ten years.

The proposed settlement would allow state and local governments to opt for additional cash in lieu of an allotment of the overdose medication, at a value of 20% of the drug's list price.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 500,000 people have died from an overdose involving any opioid, including prescription and illicit opioids, between 1999 and 2019.

US states, cities and counties have filed thousands of lawsuits against opioid manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies, accusing them of downplaying addiction risks and failing to stop the drugs from being diverted for illegal use.

The agreement is contingent upon final documentation among the working group and Teva, and reaching the thresholds for participation that will be outlined in the final agreement. Teva will also need to settle an ongoing dispute with Allergan over opioid liability, having acquired Allergan’s generic drugs business in 2016.

Once finalised, the agreement will still need to be adopted by a sufficient number of plaintiffs, which would consequently ‘resolve the vast majority of opioid-related claims and litigation by states, subdivisions and Native-American tribes in the US,’ the company said.

New York has not yet agreed to the terms of the agreement and remains in ongoing settlement negotiations with the company.

In a statement, Teva said: ‘While the agreement will include no admission of wrongdoing, it remains in our best interest to put these cases behind us and continue to focus on the patients we serve every day.’

Commenting on the proposed agreement, Kåre Schultz, Teva's president and chief executive officer, said: "We are pleased to have reached a nationwide agreement in principle, pending participation by states and subdivisions, to resolve the majority of our costly legacy opioids litigation and, importantly, make critical medicines available to those most impacted by the US opioid epidemic."

Article by
Emily Kimber

28th July 2022

From: Regulatory, Healthcare

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