Generics company Teva and Texas reach a deal.
Teva Pharmaceuticals has reached an agreement with the Attorney General of Texas, Ken Paxton, settling state claims that it helped to fuel the deadly nationwide opioid epidemic that has claimed more than 500,000 to date, and specifically impacted Texans. Under the terms of the deal, the drug company will pay Texas $150 million over fifteen years and provide its newly released generic of Narcan (i.e., naloxone hydrochloride nasal spray) at wholesale cost for the next ten years. Naloxone is designed to be administered to reverse opioid overdoses and save lives. Teva, based in Tel-Aviv, Israel, is a global leader in the generic industry currently with over 3,500 products.
“Expanding access to lifesaving medicines is at the core of Teva’s mission. The Texas Attorney General is taking steps to address the opioid epidemic in the State by negotiating a settlement that includes critical medicines as part of their solution,” said Kåre Schultz, Teva’s President and CEO. “While the settlement includes no admission of wrongdoing by Teva or its affiliates, it remains in the best interest of Teva to put these cases behind us and continue to focus on the patients we serve every day.”
In December, a New York jury found Teva to be responsible for contributing to the opioid crisis as well. Legally, it found the drugmaker to be a “public nuisance” that caused “lethal consequences.” The state’s lawsuit, filed back in 2019, targeted several drugmakers and distributors accusing the defendants of “breaching their legal duties to profiteer from the plague they knew would be unleashed.”
At the time of the verdict, New York AG Letitia James said, “Teva Pharmaceuticals USA and others misled the American people about the true dangers of opioids. Today, we took a significant step in righting the wrongs this country has collectively experienced over the last two decades.”
Also at the time, Teva issued a statement saying, “The plaintiffs presented no evidence of medically unnecessary prescriptions, suspicious or diverted orders, no evidence of oversupply by Teva and didn’t show that Teva’s marketing caused harm to New Yorkers.” It denied wrongdoing.
The company continues to defend itself in court in states where settlements have yet to be reached. Other drugmakers, including Johnson & Johnson and Purdue Pharma, also continue to face, and make process, in nationwide opioid litigation.
Also, just this month, Johnson & Johnson, McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen reached a settlement out of Cleveland, Ohio, with Native American tribal communities over the opioid epidemic that totals nearly $600 million. All 574 federally recognized tribes are eligible to receive part of the settlement, even if they did not file legal action against any of the companies. As part of the deal, J&J and its subsidiary, Janssen, would payout $150 million over two years while the distributors would pay roughly $440 million over seven years. The settlement cites that “95% of litigating tribes and 14 of 17 non-litigating tribes with populations exceeding 5,000 tribal members” must sign on for the deal to take effect.