Teva, AbbVie finalize $6.6 billion U.S. opioid settlements


Teva, AbbVie finalize $6.6 billion U.S. opioid settlements

By Brendan Pierson

Nov 22 (Reuters) – Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (TEVA.TA) and AbbVie Inc (ABBV.N) have finalized the terms of settlements worth more than $6.6 billion to resolve thousands of lawsuits by U.S. state and local governments over the marketing of opioid painkillers, the companies and lawyers for the governments said Tuesday.

Under the deals, first announced in July, Israel-based Teva will pay up to $4.25 billion, including a supply of the overdose drug naloxone. AbbVie will pay up to $2.37 billion. The final amounts of the settlements will depend on how many state and local governments opt into them.

Lead attorneys for state and local governments in a joint statement called the deals “significant steps forward in our continued efforts to hold those responsible for the opioid epidemic accountable and obtain the necessary resources to battle its catastrophic effects.”

Teva and AbbVie did not admit wrongdoing. The two companies said that as part of the settlements, they have resolved a dispute between them over responsibility for claims stemming from generic opioid business that Allergan sold to Teva in 2016.

The sprawling litigation over opioids, which began in 2017, has yielded more than $40 billion in settlements with drugmakers, distributors and pharmacy chains.

State and local authorities have said they will use the money to combat the opioid crisis, which according to federal government data has caused nearly 650,000 overdose deaths since 1999 and is continuing to worsen.

Overdoses involving opioids, including prescription pills and heroin, surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing 38% in 2020 over the previous year and another 15% in 2021, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Source: Reuters