Opioid manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Tuesday announced a $4.35 billion settlement with state and local governments to resolve lawsuits concerning Teva’s role in fueling the US opioid epidemic. The settlement is not yet finalized.
Teva is an Israeli multinational pharmaceutical company which manufactures prescription medication including opioids.
In recent years, US states, cities, counties and tribes have filed more than 3,000 lawsuits against opioid manufacturers like Teva. Manufacturers are accused of downplaying the risks of opioid addiction. One example of such a case is the one brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James against Teva. A New York jury found Teva responsible for fueling the opioid crisis in December 2021.
State and local governments with lawsuits against Teva—excluding New York, which is pursuing separate litigation—are all potentially party to the settlement Teva announced Tuesday. States leading the negotiations with Teva include California, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin. The states are led by Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller.
In the settlement, Teva agreed to pay $4.25 billion in cash over 13 years. $1.2 billion of that will go towards naloxone, a drug known to counteract opioid overdoses. An additional $100 million will go to Native American tribes over 13 years.
Notably, the settlement agreement does not require Teva to acknowledge or admit to any wrongdoing. Teva said “it remains in our best interest to put these cases behind us and continue to focus on the patients we serve every day.”
The settlement is not yet finalized as it is contingent upon an indemnification agreement between Teva and the pharmaceutical company AbbVie’s Allergan unit, which Teva acquired in 2016. Following that, a sufficient number of state and local governments will have to sign onto the settlement agreement before it is finalized. Teva said in a press release that it expects the agreement to be finalized within the coming weeks.