Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. said it offered to settle thousands of opioid lawsuits by providing what the company says are billions of dollars in drugs for use in fighting the U.S. addiction epidemic, though the proposal has been met with opposition from cities and counties.
The Israel-based generic drugmaker said in a statement Monday the deal it reached with a group of four state attorneys general would, if accepted, wipe out all suits accusing the company of fanning the flames of a public-health crisis tied to the opioid painkillers. Teva offered to pay $250 million in cash along wtih a donation of addiction-fighting drugs, the company values at $23 billion.
But the deal has yet to be embraced by 2,500 municipalities suing the company, and it’s unclear what happens if they refuse to accept it.
The announcement came hours after Teva officials agreed to be part of the settlement of a case brought by two Ohio counties on Monday. The company said it would hand over $20 million in cash and donate $25 million of anti-addiction and overdose treatments that include genericversions of Suboxone, Buprenorphine and Naloxone, resolving claims against it in the first federal trial over responsibility for the U.S. opioid epidemic. Teva’s contribution was part of $260 million resolution of claims in the Cleveland trial involving three other companies.
“The Teva product donation will significantly contribute to the care and treatment of people suffering from addiction and assist impacted communities,” company officials said Monday.
Teva’s U.S. shares rose as much as 19%, their biggest intraday gain since September 2017. The company’s stock had been getting pounded in recent months as the drugmaker faced claims it’s units downplayed their opioid painkillers’ risks and oversold their benefits.
The case is In RE National Prescription Opiate Litigation, No. 19-3827, Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (Cincinnati)