The New York Attorney General’s office announced it has secured $523 million from Teva Pharmaceuticals and affiliates for its role in the opioid crisis, effectively marking the end of the state’s litigation against opioid manufacturers and distributors not currently in bankruptcy proceedings.
The funds — secured as part of Teva’s $4 billion-plus global settlement and separately from the state achieving a “historic liability verdict” following a jury trial against the company in 2021 — marks the largest settlement that Attorney General James has reached with an individual opioid defendant, according to a statement from James’ office.
The agreement also commits Teva to prohibit marketing opioids and funding third parties that promote them, and a ban on high-dose opioids and prescription savings programs among other injunctive relief.
Teva Pharmaceuticals announced in July a $4.35 billion proposed nationwide settlement that could resolve thousands of lawsuits over the drugmaker’s alleged role in the US opioid epidemic.
The attorney general plans to make a motion to remove Teva from opioid litigation effectively concluding New York’s opioid trial after James filed what she called the nation’s most extensive lawsuit in 2019.
In total, the attorney general’s office has secured over $2 billion from opioid manufacturers and distributors to fund abatement, treatment, and prevention resources as part of her efforts.
“The false information that Teva and other opioids manufacturers propagated about the safety of their drugs inflicted tremendous damage on the lives of countless people, while also abusing the health insurance system,” said New York’s Superintendent of Financial Services Adrienne Harris in a statement. “No monetary penalty can undo the immeasurable harm the opioid crisis has dealt to families across the country, but DFS is proud to have played a role in bringing about this resolution, holding opioid manufacturers and distributors accountable for their actions.”
The news comes on the heels of a separate tentative agreement from CVS and Walgreens to pay a combined $10 billion to settle lawsuits brought by states and local governments alleging the retailers mishandled prescriptions of opioid painkillers.
Those two agreements, unrelated to the New York settlement with Teva, continue to mark milestones in the effort to hold manufacturers and distributors accountable for the opioid crisis that have plagued America.