The City of San Francisco Tuesday reached a $58 million settlement with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and AbbVie’s Allergan unit over claims that the companies fueled an opioid epidemic in the city.
San Francisco alleged that pharmaceutical manufacturers such as Teva and AbbVie’s Allergan “fueled a widespread surge of opioid-related addiction and overdoes in San Francisco, creating an ongoing public nuisance in the region.” The settlement was announced by San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu in a statement which highlighted the devastating impact of the opioid epidemic. Chiu wrote:
Opioids have wreaked havoc across our nation, and cities like San Francisco have shouldered the burden of the epidemic. Under this agreement, our City will receive significant resources to combat the opioid crisis and bring relief to our communities.
Teva Pharmaceuticals also released a statement, saying:
Today’s settlement is another critical step forward in getting life-saving treatments to people suffering from opioid addiction. This settlement agreement is not an admission of any liability or wrongdoing, and the Company will continue to pursue a nationwide settlement in the best interest of the people who benefit from the medicines that Teva provides throughout the US, and the world, every day.
Teva and Abbvie’s Allergan were just two of the opioid companies sued by San Francisco. Additional defendants include opioid distributors like Walgreens. San Francisco alleges that Walgreens filled false prescriptions for opioids, resulting in needless overdoses and addictions. Walgreens is expected to appear in court to defend against the city’s claims.