Drugmaker to pay Oklahoma $85M to settle opioid lawsuit

Drugmaker to pay Oklahoma $85M to settle opioid lawsuit

Israeli drug manufacturer Teva will pay $87 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the state of Oklahoma, according to Attorney General Mike Hunter.

Teva was one of several drugmakers and subsidiaries named in Oklahoma’s lawsuit holding the companies responsible for the opioid crisis. The case involving Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries will go to trial on Tuesday, as scheduled, before Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman, according to Hunter’s office.

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In an announcement Sunday, the attorney general’s office said the settlement may take up to two weeks to finalize, after which the money will be used to alleviate the addiction crisis in Oklahoma, with an announcement on the specific terms forthcoming.

In March, Purdue also settled with the state for $270 million before the case could go to trial. Most of the settlement with Purdue went to the Oklahoma State University Center for Wellness and Recovery.

“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. “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.”

The settlement also resolves claims against several Teva subsidiaries, including Cephalon, Watson Laboratories and Actavis Pharma. The company did not admit any wrongdoing under the settlement.

“While the company has long stated that the courtroom is not a place to address the crisis, Teva is pleased to put the Oklahoma case behind it and remains prepared to vigorously defend claims against the company, including the upcoming federal court trial in Cleveland where the majority of the cases are pending,” Teva said in a statement.