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Drugmaker agrees to $2.37 billion opiate settlement

By Bruce Walker | The Center Square

(The Center Square) – Allergan has agreed in principle to a proposed $2.37 billion settlement to participating states and local governments, including Iowa.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and a bipartisan group of attorneys general announced the settlement Friday.

The news comes the same week as a $4.25 billion national settlement between more than 2,500 government entities and tribes with Teva Pharmaceuticals.

“We’ve worked hard to get the best result for Americans harmed by the opioid crisis, and it’s rewarding to take another step in the right direction,” Miller said in a statement. “We continue to make it a priority to hold manufacturers responsible, while ensuring victims of this epidemic receive the help they need.”

The coalition of states alleged that Allergan deceptively marketed opioids by downplaying the risk of addiction, overstating their benefits, and encouraging doctors to treat patients showing signs addiction by prescribing them more opioids; and failed to maintain effective controls to prevent diversion of opioids.

The $2.37 billion figure includes money that Allergan has already agreed to pay under settlements with individual states.

Details remain that need to be ironed out, including the settlement structure, but it’s anticipated states will follow established precedents with other multi-state drug company settlements.

States participating in the settlement include Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. New York settled separately with Allergan in December 2021.

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  • If I read this article correctly, 11 states will share $2.3 billion. Pennsylvania is one of those states. Each state will get about $209 million. I wonder if any of this will go to families? – The opioid story has fascinated me for two reasons and both, together, highlight the inherent biases in this country. The first is how opioid addiction is covered and treated vs the coverage and treatment of crack. The second is that there’s been no mention of going after the doctors who went along with the plan. Clearly, they, too, must be held accountable. They were the ultimate gateway drug.

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