Friday, January 10, 2020

AG Hunter announces settlement with drug company for role in opioid crisis

Attorney General Hunter Announces Settlement with Endo Pharmaceuticals for Company’s Alleged Role in State Opioid Crisis
$8.75 million settlement will go to abate the epidemic

OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter today announced the state has reached an out-of-court settlement with Endo Pharmaceuticals totaling $8.75 million for the company’s alleged role in the state’s opioid crisis.

The majority of the money will go into the Opioid Lawsuit Settlement Fund with the Teva settlement that was reached last June. The money will remain in the account until legislation is passed to deploy the funds. The state will receive the funds today.

Attorney General Hunter said the agreement avoids legal action the state was considering against the company.

“The money from this settlement as well as the money from other settlements will allow us to begin abating Oklahoma’s problem,” Attorney General Hunter said. “Communities in our state continue to struggle with addiction and the fallout from the ongoing opioid crisis. It’s estimated as many as 100,000 Oklahomans continue struggling with addiction and every 25 minutes a baby is born suffering from opioid withdrawal. We look forward to working with members of the legislature and executive branch to ensure this money goes toward helping those who have been affected by or those who continue to struggle with opioid addiction.”

In addition to the settlement funds for abating the opioid epidemic, Endo agrees it will not employ or contract with sales representatives to promote opioids in the state; in the state, the company will not use speakers, key opinion leaders or speaking events to promote opioids; and the company will not provide direct or indirect financial support for branded or unbranded information promoting opioids, such as brochures, newsletters, books and guides.

In 2016, Endo changed its executive leadership team and shortly thereafter stopped promoting opioid products to healthcare professionals and eliminated its entire pain product salesforce. Endo also withdrew Opana ER from the market, discontinued the research and development of new opioid products and implemented additional anti-diversion measures, including product serialization aimed at stopping counterfeiting and theft to protect patient safety.

“The measures taken by Endo to alleviate the opioid epidemic are commendable,” Attorney General Hunter said. “When they saw a problem, corporate executives proactively worked, internally and with stakeholders, to find a solution, not a cover-up, as we have discovered with numerous other companies during our years-long investigation.”

To read the settlement agreement, click here.


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