An Israel-based pharmaceutical company has agreed to an $85 million settlement with the state of Oklahoma over its alleged role in spreading the opioid epidemic. Teva Pharmaceuticals was accused by Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter of creating a public nuisance through its production and marketing of opioids.
Teva said in a statement that the agreement “does not establish any wrongdoing on the part of the company”. The company also said that it has “not contributed to the abuse of opioids in Oklahoma in any way”.
This makes Teva Pharmaceutical the second company to settle with Oklahoma over the opioid crisis. Earlier this year, drug manufacturer Purdue Pharma agreed to a similar settlement that cost $270 million. Purdue Pharma is the maker of OxyContin, and is the center of several lawsuits involving the company and the members of the Sackler family who runs it.
Teva is one of the world’s largest generic drug manufacturers. It had been due to appear in court alongside Johnson & Johnson.
“Today's announcement is a testament to the state's legal team's countless hours and resources preparing for this trial and their dedication and resolve to hold the defendants in this case accountable for the ongoing opioid overdose and addiction epidemic that continues to claim thousands of lives each year,” Hunter said in a statement.
Hunter tweeted: “We have agreed to an $85 million settlement agreement with Israeli-based Teva Pharmaceuticals for its role in fueling the state’s opioid epidemic.”
“Nearly all Oklahomans have been negatively impacted by this deadly crisis and we look forward to Tuesday, where we will prove our case against Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries," Hunter added.
The attorney general said that the money from the Teva settlement will go towards combating the opioid crisis, which is still killing thousands of Americans each year. State attorneys expect it will take between $12.7 billion and $17.5 billion over a 20 to 30-year period to abate the opioid crisis in Oklahoma.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that overdoses involving opioids were responsible for more than 47,000 deaths in 2017 alone. 36 percent of these deaths involved prescription opioids.
Furthermore, a poll released by NPR and Ipsos found that a third of Americans have been affected directly by the opioid epidemic. According to the survey, 57 percent of Americans believed that pharmaceutical companies should be held accountable for worsening the opioid crisis.
“It's something, no matter your age, your gender, no matter where you live, your party affiliation, that people believe in large numbers,” said Mallory Newall, the lead Ipsos researcher on the survey. Click the link to see Aurora's top rehab placement programs.
The Oklahoma case is being monitored closely by plaintiffs in other opioid cases. This includes South Dakota and 1,850 other municipal and state governments that have filed charges against the same drug makers.
Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson will continue to face trial for its alleged role in the opioid crisis. Whether or not the company will choose to go for a settlement remains to be seen.
Addiction experts believe that the opioid crisis will require billions of dollars in funds over the course of several years before it can be fully resolved.
If someone in the family is struggling with opioid or alcohol addiction, it is important to seek help. A combination of medical detox and behavioral therapy can go a long way in the fight against drug abuse. But because every individual is affected by addiction differently, a comprehensive program tailored to their specific needs is necessary. Look for a nearby addiction treatment facility today and find out how drug treatment programs work.
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]