Pharmaceutical Giant Settles Opioid Lawsuit for Billions

Teva Accepts $4.25 Billion National Opioid Settlement
Prescription pills spilling out of a bottle. | Image by Backyard Productions/Getty Images

The Israeli pharmaceutical company and opioid manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals consented to a $4.25 billion settlement. The settlement addresses thousands of lawsuits brought against it by several states, local governments, and Native American tribes, who alleged the company misled doctors about their products’ potential for addiction.

Teva is a lesser-known generic drug maker that produced billions of opioids and allegedly helped fuel the opioid crisis. The company announced on Tuesday that it had reached a tentative agreement with state attorneys general, tribal leaders, and a group of lawyers representing cities and counties from across the country to end a long-running legal battle.

If finalized, the deal would require the company to pay out $3 billion and donate $1.2 billion worth of the overdose-reversing medication Narcan, according to The Washington Post.

“This settlement is a major win and a step closer to helping people overcome opioid addiction,” stated Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. “Pharmaceutical companies like Teva must be held accountable for their role in this devastating epidemic. We expect this settlement to make a crucial difference in preventing fatal overdoses and treating opioid addiction disorder.”

As reported in The Dallas Express, Paxton concluded negotiations with the company on behalf of Texas back in February, settling for $225 million and $75 million worth of Narcan.

In a statement issued following news of the tentative agreement breaking, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said, “Teva downplayed the risk of addiction when it marketed its opioids and overstated potential benefits, deceiving doctors and patients. Today’s settlement ensures Teva will pay for its irresponsible actions, with funds going directly to communities in Pennsylvania most impacted by the opioid epidemic.”

According to federal statistics, drug overdose deaths reached a record high of over 100,000 in 2021.

As The Dallas Express has previously reported, Texas clocked nearly 1,700 fentanyl-related deaths alone that same year. The lawsuit against Teva cited two of its fentanyl-based products, Actiq and Fentora, which the company claimed it sold and marketed legally.

“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,” read a statement issued by Teva on Tuesday.

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