Teva expects to pay $3.6B over opioid claims

Feb. 11, 2022

Teva Pharmaceutical's CEO, Kåre Schultz, announced that the generics giant is prepared to shell out as much as $3.6 billion over the next 15 years to settle the thousands of lawsuits accusing the generic drugmaker and other drug companies of fueling the U.S. opioid epidemic.

The announcement comes just days after Israel-based Teva reached a $225 million settlement with the state of Texas, where the company agreed to pay $150 million over the next 15 years and provide $75 million worth of opioid-overdose reversal drug, Narcan over the next 10 years.

“The Texas model is a good one because it satisfies the need for cash…while still maintaining a significant portion of the settlement as products that really can help the people suffering from substance abuse,” Schultz said, as quoted by Reuters.

Teva has sought to resolve the suits by offering up huge amounts of cash. In 2019, the company offered to donate $23 billion in opioid addiction treatment drugs and pay $250 million over 10 years.

In the lawsuits, Teva was accused of downplaying the risks of opioids, marketing them for unapproved uses and failing to adhere to safeguards that are intended to prevent the drugs from flooding the market.

The settlement with Texas comes after a landmark decision by New York state in December that found the American division of the company responsible for the opioid crisis in the state.

New York state filed the lawsuit in May 2017, naming Teva and other household pharma names like Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson and Endo as defendants. In 2019, Teva was exploring the possibility of settlement through the donations of up to $15 billion in generic drugs, including medications that reverse opioid overdose.