Opioid maker Endo files for bankruptcy amid lawsuits

Aug. 19, 2022

Endo has filed for chapter 11 protection in New York, the global specialty pharmaceutical company announced this week. 

Like many other pharma companies, Endo has been battling accusations of fueling the opioid crisis through illegal marketing practices of its painkiller, Opana ER. The drug, which was pulled from the market in 2017, was first approved in 2006 for the management of moderate-to-severe pain when a continuous, around-the-clock opioid analgesic is needed for an extended period of time. 

In 2012, the company replaced the formula with a new one intended to make the drug “resistant to physical and chemical manipulation for abuse by snorting or injecting.” On March of 2017, an independent FDA advisory committee met to discuss the abuse patterns and other safety concerns related to Opana ER and voted 18-8 that the benefits of reformulated Opana ER no longer outweigh its risks.

Now, in the same week, Endo announced settlements with 36 states and announced it had filed for bankruptcy. In total, Endo has settled to pay over $450 million over 10 years to aid in the prevention and support of opioid abuse problems. Endo is also required to pay $2.75 million for archival expenses for opioid-related products that must be shared for public review. The journey through bankruptcy for Endo means forfeiting more than $8 billion in debt and according to CEO Blaise Coleman, “establish a pathway to closure.” 

Earlier this year, a federal judge confirmed Johnson & Johnson’s ability to establish a holding company for talc litigation cases and declare the firm bankrupt, saving billions.