An Oklahoma judge approved a revised $85 million (£66.7 million) settlement with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. resolving claims by the state’s attorney general that the drugmaker helped fuel the U.S. opioid epidemic.
Insys Therapeutics Inc. agreed to pay $225 million and an operating unit will plead guilty to fraud to settle probes into their payment of kickbacks to induce doctors to prescribe highly addictive opioids, the U.S. Department of Justice said.
Teva Pharmaceutical agreed to pay an $85 million settlement with the state of Oklahoma days before the company was set to face trial over allegations that the world’s largest generic manufacturer and other drugmakers helped fuel the U.S. opioid epidemic.
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter’s $17 billion lawsuit is the first to go to trial of more than 2,000 actions by state and local governments accusing opioid manufacturers of contributing to an epidemic linked to a record 47,600 overdose deaths in 2017, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Five U.S. states filed lawsuits accusing Purdue Pharma LP of illegally marketing and selling opioids, including OxyContin.
Opioid use has reached crisis proportions not only in the United States but also in Canada and some European countries, as prescription opioid painkillers have become much more common, the OECD club of wealthy nations said.
Gilead Sciences Inc. announced that the company will donate Truvada for PrEP (emtricitabine 200 mg and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate 300 mg tablets) to the U.S. CDC.
The founder of Insys Therapeutics Inc. became the highest-ranking pharmaceutical executive to be convicted in a case tied to the U.S. opioid crisis, when he and four colleagues were found guilty of participating in a scheme to bribe doctors to prescribe an addictive painkiller.
Drug distributor McKesson Corp. agreed to pay $37 million to resolve a lawsuit by the state of West Virginia seeking to hold the company responsible for contributing to the opioid epidemic, the state’s attorney general said.
U.S. President Donald Trump touted progress in the fight against opioid abuse and promised to hold drugmakers accountable for their part in the crisis, a day after his administration brought its first related criminal charges against a major drug distributor and company executives.