AbbVie, Teva May Pay $5 Billion To Settle Opioid Lawsuit

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AbbVie and Teva are reportedly ready to pay over $5 billion to quiet the over 3,500 opioid liability lawsuits filed against them over their painkillers.

In an article published by Bloomberg, citing three unnamed sources privy to settlement discussions, the two companies have "indicated a willingness to settle," although no formal offer has been made as of yet.

The sources also reportedly told the news service that it remains unclear how much will be paid out per company and for how long, as they are still in talks over an indemnity agreement that Teva signed in 2016. Back then, Teva agreed to purchase all of Allergan's roster of generic opioid-based products, effectively shifting all costs to the buyer. AbbVie acquired Allergan in 2019.

Neither AbbVie nor Teva have made any statement about this report.

In its quarterly report ended March 31, Teva said that it had disbursed $1.1 billion in the period toward legal settlements and loss contingencies related to opioid lawsuits filed in Rhode Island and Florida. The will reportedly pay Florida $194.8, million while Allergan committed to pay $134.2 million.

Also in March, Teva and AbbVie agreed to pay a combined $28.5 million to Rhode Island to settle similar claims. Teva will pay the state $21 million over a 13-year period, while AbbVie will pay $7.5 million on behalf of Allergan. Rhode Island will receive $13 million from Teva within one year from the date of settlements, while the rest will be spread out. Allergan committed to pay the entire amount within six years.

"With the agreement of Teva to supply the state with enough Naloxone to meet the projected demand, at no cost for the next 10 years, we can use these hard-gained monetary recoveries for other purposes," said Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha in a statement. The money collected from the lawsuit will be used to finance opioid overdose response efforts and other public health initiatives in the state.

Teva and AbbVie have been battling opioid liability lawsuits over the past years, and the reported $5 billion to be set aside for settlements could solve a wave of complaints against them in one go. AbbVie has not explicitly admitted guilt in any of its liabilities but acknowledges that there are around 3,100 outstanding lawsuits against Allergan and over 200 pending court cases. For now, the public awaits the companies' decision.

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