Teva reaches $4.25B deal to settle opioid lawsuits

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The pharmaceutical company Teva has reached a $4.25 billion nationwide settlement, potentially resolving thousands of lawsuits over its role in the U.S. opioid crisis.

The money will go primarily to state and local governments, pending agreement from all involved parties. The dollar amount also includes $1.2 billion worth of generic Narcan, a drug that can reverse an opioid overdose, over the next 10 years, Teva confirmed in a report shared with The Hill.

Teva will also provide $100 million over the next 13 years for Native American tribes. 

But the agreement isn’t a concession of Teva’s role in the opioid epidemic.

“While the agreement will include no admission of wrongdoing, it remains in our best interest to put these cases behind us and continue to focus on the patients we serve every day,” the statement said.

The opioid epidemic reportedly costs the U.S. as much as $1 trillion each year. Drug overdose deaths reached record numbers in 2021, with as many as 80,000 opioid-related deaths.

Native communities, to which the settlement allocates special funding, have been among those communities hit hardest by the epidemic. Though white Americans make up the majority of overdose deaths, the rates are higher among Black Americans and Native Americans. 

Teva is still in settlement negotiations with New York state and local governments, but reports there are no pending trials for the remainder of the year.

Opioid maker Allergan, which Teva acquired in 2016, will have to reach a settlement of its own — and an agreement with Teva — before Teva’s agreement can move forward.

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