Texas settles opioid epidemic case with Endo.
Texas AG Ken Paxton has announced that Dublin-based Endo International Plc has agreed to pay $63 million to resolve claims by the state of Texas and local governments that it took part in fueling the nationwide opioid epidemic. The deal announced by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton marked the latest in a series of settlements that Endo has struck over the past few months with state and local governments to resolve similar claims. Texas’ settlement includes clauses for an Endo bankruptcy.
According to Texas AG Paxton’s office, the settlement requires the drugmaker to pay into the Texas State Qualified Settlement Fund. It also prohibits the company from requiring the global deal to be finalized before paying in or asking for any rebated or reductions to the proposed amount.
“This settlement is a necessary step in the right direction, and we will continue to fight to heal our state from this devastating crisis,” Paxton said.
Endo is a pharmaceutical company that generated over” 93% of its 2017 sales from the U.S. healthcare system.” While most of the drug company’s operations are based in the United States, in 2013 Endo executed a corporate tax inversion to Ireland, where its headquarters remain.
The drugmaker did not admit wrongdoing in settling with the state and said that its goal remains “to achieve a global opioid settlement” but that it “is also exploring strategic alternatives.”
Drug distributors McKesson Corp., AmerisourceBergen Corp. and Cardinal Health Inc as well as drugmaker Johnson & Johnson (J&J) are pushing to finalize proposed settlements of up to $26 billion to resolve the cases against them. Endo is not part of the deal.
In November, the state of Alabama settled with Endo and remains in talks with distributor McKesson Corp. Due to the ongoing settlement talks and the deal negotiated with Endo, Democratic Judge J.R. Gaines set a new McKesson trial date for April 18, 2022. Alabama was also one of eight states to refuse to join the proposed $26 billion deal.
“As the court knows, the state has completed a settlement with Endo, the other defendant,” McKesson said at the time. “The state is continuing to work through the mediator to resolve issues with McKesson, and the parties believe that additional time will allow them to complete a settlement and achieve a resolution without the need for a trial.”
Endo also previously settled lawsuits with either states or counties in New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Ohio for a total of more than $111 million.
In November, a California judge following a trial found Endo and three other drugmakers not liable in a lawsuit by several counties that accused them of fueling the opioid epidemic, saying they failed to prove case, which was worth $50 billion.. The case, pending in Orange County Superior Court, was filed in 2014 as the People of the State of California by Orange and Santa Clara Counties as Case No. 30-2014-00725287-CU-BT-CXC.