Opioid Manufacturer Could Be Paying $4.25 Billion to States for Deception

By Adam Capotorto

A recent agreement between the Attorney Generals’ Office and opioid-manufacturer Teva has agreed to providing up to $4.25 billion to states and local governments. 

In a recent press release, the Attorney General’s Office agreed on key-financial terms with opioid-manufacturer Teva for alleged deceptive marketing and failing to comply with suspicious ordering monitoring requirements. The agreement provides up to $4.25 billion to states and local governments. Details of the settlement are currently under negotiation.

“My office continues to hold companies responsible for fueling the opioid crisis,” said AG Shapiro. “Teva downplayed the risk of addiction when it marketed its opioids and overstated potential benefits, deceiving doctors and patients. [The] settlement ensures Teva will pay for its irresponsible actions, with funds going directly to communities in Pennsylvania most impacted by the opioid epidemic.”

Teva manufactures the drugs Actiq and Fentora, branded fentanyl products for cancer patients who have developed a tolerance to other opioids. Teva also manufactures a number of generic opioids, including oxycodone. A multistate coalition alleges that Teva promoted potent, rapid-onset fentanyl products for use by non cancer patients in addition to deceptively marketing their opioids by downplaying the risk of addiction. Teva have overstated the benefits of their opioids and encouraged the idea that signs of addiction are actually “pseudo addiction,” treated by prescribing more opioids. Teva and its distributor Anda, are also accused of failing to comply with suspicious ordering monitoring requirements.

The agreement resulted after a multistate investigation into six manufacturers and three distributors for their roles in the opioids epidemic. That investigation previously led to a $26 billion settlement with Amerisource Bergen, Cardinal Health, McKesson, and Johnson & Johnson.

Parties have agreed to the following:

  • Teva will pay a maximum of $4.25 billion in cash over 13 years. This figure includes money that Teva has already agreed to pay under separate settlements with individual States, funds for participating States and subdivisions, and the $240 million of cash in lieu of product described below.
  • As part of the financial term, Teva will provide up to $1.2 billion in generic naloxone (valued at Wholesale Acquisition Cost or WAC) over a 10-year period or $240 million of cash in lieu of product at each state election.
  • The settlement will build on the existing framework that states and subdivisions have created through other recent opioid lawsuits.

A final settlement remains contingent on agreement on critical business practice changes and transparency requirements.

Pennsylvania with California, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, And Wisconsin led negotiations regarding this settlement.