Opioid Lawsuits: Teva Agrees to $225 Settlement with Texas
In its largest settlement yet among thousands of opioid lawsuits, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., will pay Texas $225 million in a case that claims Teva failed to properly market opioid drugs and worsened the crisis. The state will receive $150 million in damages over a 15-year period and $75 million in a medication designed to treat the effects of opioid drugs (Reuters).
The Israeli-based pharmaceutical company is the largest generic drugmaker in the world—and one of the many opioid manufacturers being held accountable for their role in the opioid epidemic. To settle the rest of the 3,500-plus lawsuits the company faces, Teva expects it could pay $3.6 billion, according to this Reuters report.
The Impact of the Opioid Crisis on States and Local Governments in the U.S.
The opioid epidemic arose in the late 1990s when pharmaceutical companies began to market opioids more intensively to doctors and others in the healthcare industry. Drugmakers failed to warn doctors and patients of the high risks of addiction associated with the medications.
The following data portrays the extent of the problem:
- According to National Public Radio (NPR), more than 1 million people have now died amid the crisis since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) started tracking data on opioid-related fatalities in 1999.
- According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 1.6 million people had a disorder related to opioid use in the past year.
While the devastation of the opioid crisis has affected many American communities and has personally affected those who lost loved ones, the financial costs of the epidemic are equally harrowing. This financial burden has fallen in part on state and local governments, which have scrambled to meet the need for treatment and recovery services.
Additionally, state-funded Medicaid systems have paid billions in hospitalization and other medical care needs associated with opioid addiction and recovery. According to information from the Texas Hospital Association (THA), the crisis costs Texas around $20 billion yearly, which amounts to 1.27 percent of the state’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Texas and Other State Governments Hold Opioid Manufacturers Accountable
Texas’ $225 million settlement with Teva is among a wave of lawsuits brought by local and state governments across the country that seek compensation for the impacts of the nation’s opioid crisis.
Texas has been party to additional lawsuits, including:
- A landmark case against Johnson & Johnson, which will pay out $26 billion to governments across the country. Texas will receive $268 million of this total (Attorney General of Texas).
- A case against McKinsey, as the company’s consulting services to drugmakers included deceptive marketing strategies. The state reached a $38.4 million settlement (Attorney General of Texas report).
State governments are seeking compensation from many parties liable for the opioid crisis, including drug distributors, manufacturers, retailers, pharmacies, and consulting groups, among others.
You Can Get Legal Help if You Were Harmed by a Dangerous Drug
You may be able to file a lawsuit if an opioid medication caused your loved one’s wrongful death. A mass tort lawsuit lawyer can explain your legal options. To learn more, fill out our online contact form to connect with a law firm in our network.