Drugmakers Teva Pharmaceuticals and AbbVie’s Allergan unit have agreed to a settlement valued at $107 Million with the state of Rhode Island for the role that the companies played in fueling the opioid epidemic. Part of the settlement will come in the form of cash and part, in actual drugs. Teva and AbbVie will pay a combined $28.5 million to the state over the next 13 years and will deliver 1 million Naloxone sprays, 67,000 30-pill bottles of Suboxone pills, and generic versions of Narcan – all anti-overdose treatments – over the next 10 years.
Israel-based Teva, the world’s largest generic drug company, did not admit to any liability or wrongdoing but called the settlement “a critical step forward” in providing life-saving treatments to opioid users, according to Reuters.
This sort of settlement is hardly new for Teva. In 2019, the comopany settled a similar case featuring opioid-related claims with the state of Ohio. In that case, Teva agreed to pay $20 million in cash and donate $25 million worth of Suboxone. During the same year, Teva reached a deal with Texas in which it agreed to pay out $225 million over a 10-year period and donate $75 million worth of generic Narcan.
Other pharmaceutical companies also settled opioid-related cases recently. Earlier this month, Purdue Pharma’s Sackler family paid $6 billion in settlement claims related to the company’s aggressive marketing of OxyContin. In February, the three biggest pharmaceutical distribution companies in the U.S. - Amerisource Bergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson - were part of a national settlement, which included the Rhode Island case featuring Teva and Allergan, in which the companies agreed to pay $19.5 billion in claims over the next 18 years, according to Bio Space.
Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Neronha said that the cash from these settlements will bolster public health efforts related to opioid overdoses, according to Bio Space. Vincent Greene, an attorney who represented Rhode Island in the Teva case, said that the inclusion of drugs in these settlements will “save lives immediately in the years to come,” according to Reuters.