Teva Pharmaceuticals, a U.S. affiliate of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., said that the company has reached a settlement with 48 U.S. states over the opioid epidemic scandal and the company’s role in it.
Teva said that there was a “sufficient level of participation to move forward with its nationwide settlement agreement to resolve opioid-related claims and litigation by states, cities, counties, and other subdivisions in the United States.”
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Teva stated that it has” either already settled with or confirmed participation from 48 of the 50 states and will continue to pursue participation by those states that have yet to join.” The sign-on process for the states’ subdivisions will now begin.
Teva described the response from states to the deal as “very positive” and said the company remains “optimistic that the nationwide settlement will garner similar support from the states’ subdivisions.”
It was only one year ago that Teva Pharmaceuticals was found guilty in a NY trial of contributing to America’s opioid crisis. A jury in New York State found that Teva had in fact promoted the use of addictive painkillers.
But then, in July of 2022, New York State Attorney General Letitia James took legal action to hold Teva Pharmaceutical Industries — the Israel-based parent company of Teva Pharmaceuticals USA – responsible for what she alleged were false statements that the company’s executives made in sworn affidavits related to a recent opioid case. The AG’s office said at the time that it uncovered new evidence in the matter.
Attorney General Letitia James said that Teva made “significant and intentional misrepresentations to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the court about its involvement with Teva Pharmaceuticals USA and role in the opioids industry in the United States in order to evade legal action and accountability.”
And Teva still faces legal troubles back at home in Israel.
In May, the State of Israel launched a $100 million lawsuit against Teva Pharmaceutical Industries in the Lod District Court, alleging that the company breached its rights by not paying royalties for the multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone.
Copaxone was developed at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, and Teva had commercial rights. Teva first offered the medicine in daily dosages, but when the patent for the active component expired, the company submitted a patent application for extended interval dosage. The state asserts that the longer interval dose resulted from ground-breaking research conducted by neurologists in government hospitals affiliated with the Weizmann Institute. Thus the state owns the rights to the study.
But it seems that with the opioids issue Teva got off easy, at least when compared to Purdue Pharma which ceased to exist.