Health: Pharmaceutical giant Teva settles opioid claims

The Story:

Teva Pharmaceutical industries (NYSE: TEVA), the Israel-headquartered pharma giant with a U.S affiliate, has settled a lawsuit with Louisiana over its role in the opioid epidemic. Louisiana had claimed that Teva, like other opioid makers “engaged in fraudulent marketing regarding the risks and benefits of prescription opioids,” which helped fuel the epidemic in that state.

The Settlement:

The Louisiana settlement provides that Teva will pay the state $15 million over the course of 18 years and that it will donate medicines that it says will “aid in opioid addiction recovery.” It values the anticipated donations at $3 million.

Teva says that the sentiment is in a sense contingent: it will be finalized if and when all the political subdivisions of the state sign onto it. And November 2 is a deadline for that acceptance. Teva also says that it “continues to negotiate a national settlement and remains open in parallel to pursuing opportunities with individual states such as the deal announced today, as long as it is consistent with the nationwide approach.”

In Pill Form:

This settlement comes two months after Johnson & Johnson and three distributors agreed to a historic $26 billion settlement. Teva was conspicuously absent from that deal.  Teva’s CEO, Kåre Schultz, has explained that the company’s debt load of $20 billion prevents it from making agreements that require a lot of up-front cash. The 18-year-long spread of settlement by Louisiana was, then, a critical part of the whole.




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