Teva Pharmaceuticals, one of the biggest makers of generic drugs, has agreed to pay $85 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the Oklahoma attorney general over allegations that the company contributed to the state’s opioid painkiller epidemic.
The settlement comes two months after Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, agreed to pay a $270 million settlement in the historic lawsuit, and just days before the scheduled start of a trial.
The case against Johnson & Johnson, the only remaining defendant, will be heard by a district judge this week. “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 said in a news release announcing the settlement.
The money from the Teva settlement will be “used to abate the opioid crisis in Oklahoma,” the release said. The terms of the agreement may take two weeks to finalize.
Israeli-based Teva denies any wrongdoing.
The agreement “does not establish any wrongdoing on the part of the company;” Teva said in a statement. “Teva has not contributed to the abuse of opioids in Oklahoma in any way.”
In announcing the March agreement with Purdue, Hunter said $102.5 million of the settlement would be used to help establish a national addiction treatment and research center at Oklahoma State University, with additional payments of $15 million each year for the next five years beginning in 2020. The company will also provide $20 million of addiction treatment and opioid rescue medications to the center over the same five-year time frame.
A remaining $12.5 million from the settlement will be used directly to help cities and counties with the opioid crisis.
The Sackler family, who founded and owns Purdue Pharma, will also contribute $75 million over the next five years to the treatment and research center.
Sunday’s announcement is a testament to the state’s legal team’s “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 the release.
The agreement resolves claims against Teva Pharmaceuticals, USA, Cephalon, Inc. Watson Laboratories, Inc., Actavis, LLC, and Actavis Pharma, Inc., the attorney general’s office said.