Teva, Allergan Reach Opioid Settlement Agreement with Rhode Island
Israel-based Teva, a generics giant, will pay the state $21 million over the next 13 years. AbbVie will pay the state $7.5 million to settle claims against Allergan, a company it acquired in 2019. In addition to the cash payments to the state, Teva will also supply 67,000 30-pill bottles of Suboxone over the next decade. Suboxone is used to treat opioid addiction. Generic versions of Narcan, which is administered to overdose victims, will also be provided to the state. According to the Rhode Island Attorney General, the combined value of the cash payments and the anti-overdose drug is $107 million.
Under financial terms, Rhode Island will receive $13 million from Teva within one year of the settlement and the remaining funds will be paid out over time. Rhode Island will receive its full recovery from Allergan within six years, at $1.25 million per year.
In 2019, Teva reached a similar agreement with the state of Ohio to settle opioid-related claims. In that agreement, Teva agreed to pay $20 million in cash and donate $25 million worth of Suboxone. More recently, Teva reached a deal with the state of Texas to pay $225 million. The company agreed to pay $150 million in cash over a period of 10 years and will also donate $75 million worth of generic Narcan.
In a brief statement, Teva said the agreement with the state of Rhode Island is in the best interest of helping those who have been negatively impacted by the ongoing opioid crisis in the United States. The company noted that its agreement with the state is not an admission of any liability or wrongdoing. Teva will continue to defend itself in court against ongoing litigation in areas where no settlement has been reached. Teva also noted that it continues to seek a national settlement of claims.
Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Neronha said the finances and the medications will support public health efforts to respond to opioid overdoses in Rhode Island.
“With the agreement of Teva to supply the state with enough Naloxone to meet the projected demand, at no cost for the next 10 years, we can use these hard-gained monetary recoveries for other purposes,” Neronha said in a statement.
Teva’s agreement with Rhode Island comes hard on the heels of other settlements reached in opioid-related cases. Earlier this month, Purdue Pharma’s Sackler family was ordered to pay $6 billion to settle claims related to the company's aggressive marketing tactics for OxyContin. The settlement plan approved earlier this month increased the amount the Sackler family had to pay by about $1.2 billion.
In February, a national settlement was reached with three of the biggest distributing companies, Amerisource Bergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson. Under terms of that deal, the three companies will pay up to $19.5 billion to settle claims. In a breakdown of payments, McKesson will pay the largest amount at $7.4 billion. AmerisourceBergen will pay $6.1 billion, and Cardinal Health will pay $6 billion. Payments will be made over the course of 18 years. The agreement will settle the vast majority of the opioid lawsuits filed by state and local governments. In a joint announcement, the companies said 46 states and approximately 90% of eligible local governments agreed to the deal.
Additionally, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $5 billion as part of that near-nationwide agreement. The company no longer sells opioid medications within the United States. The life sciences giant initially expected to pay $4 billion to settle those claims.