Teva Posts 2021 Earnings and Puts Opioid Litigation in Rearview Mirror
While its multiple sclerosis drug COPAXONE showed a drop in earnings from 2020, mostly due to competition from generic products and the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on customer purchasing and stocking patterns, its AUSTEDO (for Tardive Dyskinesia) and AJOVY (for migraine) products had partially cushioned the blow. The company also managed to lower its outstanding debt to around $23 billion, from nearly $26 billion in the previous year, after it gained $4 billion from the consummation of a cash tender offer.
The company recently settled an opioid-related case in Texas and is preparing to pay as much as $3.6 billion in cash and medicine to settle the lawsuits filed against the firm. The lawsuit claims that Teva, Johnson & Johnson and three large drug distributors were to blame for the opioid crisis.
“I’m very pleased with the agreement we reached with the state of Texas, the second-most populous state in the U.S. Not only does it mark a further step in resolving our legacy opioids litigations more broadly, but importantly also makes critical medicines part of the solution when addressing the opioids epidemic. While the agreement includes 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,” said Kare Schultz, the president and chief executive officer of Teva, in a statement.
The company expressed optimism for 2022, noting that it is optimizing its supply chain and manufacturing capacity to serve customers worldwide. Teva expects its AJOVY and AUSTEDO drugs to continue expanding and get more support in discovering and developing novel treatments.
In the short term, Teva is particularly excited about the Risperidone LAI, its treatment for a patient diagnosed with schizophrenia, which is set to receive approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration soon.
Teva also confirmed today that European Union regulators have approved COPAXONE for use in multiple sclerosis patients who are breastfeeding. The product’s label was updated following positive results from clinical and non-clinical studies on the drug’s safety outcomes in infants who are breastfed by moms taking the medication during the first 18 months. The supporting data also included observations from the COBRA real world evidence study by the National German Multiple Sclerosis and Pregnancy Registry.