RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) – Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares announced today that his office has reached an agreement in principle on key financial terms with Teva pharmaceutical company over its marketing of addictive opioids.
Miyares’ office has sued Teva, an Israel-based company that produces nearly 4,000 medicines, in Richmond Circuit Court. The case is pending. Teva makes Actiq and Fentora, which are branded fentanyl products for cancer pain, and several generic opioids including oxycodone.
Virginia’s lawsuit alleges that Teva:
- Promoted potent, rapid-onset fentanyl products for use by non-cancer patients.
- Deceptively marketed opioids by downplaying the risk of addiction and overstating their benefits, including encouraging the idea that signs of addiction are actually “pseudoaddiction” treated by prescribing more opioids.
The parties have agreed on the following financial terms:
- Teva will pay a maximum of $4.25 billion in cash over 13 years. This figure includes amounts Teva has already agreed to pay under settlements with individual states, funds for participating states and subdivisions, and the $240 million of cash in lieu of the product described below.
- As part of the financial term, Teva will provide up to $1.2 billion in generic naloxone — valued at Wholesale Acquisition Cost or WAC — over a 10-year period or $240 million of cash in lieu of product, at each State’s election. Naloxone is used to counteract overdoses.
- The settlement will build on the existing framework that states and subdivisions have created through other recent opioid settlements.
Virginia’s share of the overall settlement is estimated to be over $70 million, plus the option to accept Naloxone or additional money in lieu of the Naloxone from Teva according to a press release from the Attorney General’s office.
The $70 million will be split among the Commonwealth and Virginia’s localities that join a final settlement. The majority of the funds are expected to go to the Opioid Abatement Fund, which is administered by the Opioid Abatement Authority.
Communication from Miyares’ office said critical details of the settlement remain the subject of ongoing negotiations. Teva disclosed the key financial terms in its announcement Tuesday.
“The opioid epidemic affects so many Virginians, in every corner of the Commonwealth,” Miyares said in a statement. “While there is no price that can be put on the lives lost from addiction, there is a lot of work to be done to fight back against the epidemic. These funds will make a significant difference in preventing fatal overdoses and treating opioid addiction disorder.”
A final settlement remains contingent on agreement on critical business practice changes and transparency requirements.
One year ago, on July 8, 2021, the Virginia Attorney General’s office announced a resolution of his lawsuit against the Sackler family and their company, Purdue Pharma, maker of the opioid OxyContin, that made millions of documents related to the pharmaceutical company’s role in the opioid crisis public, and require a payment of more than $4.3 billion for prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts in communities across the country.
Under that settlement, Virginia is expected to receive at least $80 million as its share of the agreement, what was believed to be the largest single investment in opioid treatment and recovery in the Commonwealth’s history.
According to the National Institute of Health drug overdose deaths involving any opioid rose over the previous years through 2020 with 68,630 deaths total that year.