Attorney General James Announces Final National Settlement Agreements for $17.3 Billion with Teva, CVS, and Walgreens
Companies Agree to Provide $17.3 Billion to Participating States to Help Combat Opioid Epidemic
NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced the final approval of $17.3 billion in opioid agreements with drug makers Teva Pharmaceuticals and Allergan and pharmacies CVS and Walgreens, including over $1 billion for New York state. These agreements settle ongoing lawsuits by other states, and finalizes settlement provisions that were negotiated between Attorney General James and Teva Pharmaceuticals, CVS, and Walgreens. These respective agreements will become effective in the coming weeks. These funds are part of the over $2.6 billion secured by Attorney General James from opioid manufacturers, distributors, and prescribers. Funds from this settlement agreement are expected to start becoming available to state and local governments by the end of this year. New York has already started receiving payments from Teva for the trial premium in recognition of New York’s landmark liability verdict following a six-month trial. Attorney General James had previously settled with Allergan, and is not part of the national agreement with that company.
“No amount of money will bring back the lives lost to opioids, but these funds will help heal New York,” said Attorney General James. “For years, Teva, CVS, and Walgreens peddled deadly opioids and today’s historic agreements hold these companies accountable for their role in this public health crisis. These funds will help with opioid abatement, education, and treatment efforts in our communities.”
The settlement agreements announced today finalize previously achieved agreements secured between Attorney General James and the companies involved. Those agreements include securing $523 million from Teva Pharmaceuticals and over $548 million from CVS and Walgreens. As a result of Attorney General James’ efforts to hold opioid manufacturers, distributors, and prescribers accountable for their actions, New York will receive over $2.6 billion to support abatement, treatment, and prevention efforts over the coming years.
The settlement agreements announced today will also require Teva to operate under a monitor, prevent all opioid marketing, and ensure systems are in place to prevent drug misuse. CVS and Walgreens have agreed to requirements that the pharmacies must monitor, report, and share data about suspicious activity related to opioid prescriptions. A final agreement with Walmart is not being announced today; there are different process for finalizing that settlement, which is anticipated in the coming weeks.
These settlement agreements continue to build on Attorney General James’ commitment to combat the opioid crisis and keep New Yorkers safe. In March 2019, Attorney General James filed a historic lawsuit to hold various opioid manufacturers and distributors responsible for their roles in the crisis. Attorney General James has recovered more than $2.6 billion to support New York opioid abatement, treatment, and prevention efforts from several companies, including Teva Pharmaceuticals, Mallinckrodt, Allergan, Endo, McKesson, Cardinal Health, and Amerisource Bergen. Attorney General James has also led multistate coalitions in reaching settlements for billions of dollars with CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart for their role in failing to properly regulate opioid prescriptions. Additionally, Attorney General James has also cracked down on dozens of drug trafficking rings, taken action against drug peddlers, and removed dangerous drugs out of New York communities.
Teva negotiations were led by Attorney General James and the attorneys general of California, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. CVS and Walgreens negotiations were led by Attorney General James and the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Texas.
These settlements were negotiated by First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy, Senior Advisor and Special Counsel M. Umair Khan, and Assistant Attorney General Noah Popp, with the invaluable assistance of Director of Research and Analytics Jonathan Werberg, Data Scientist Gautam Sisodia, and Data Analyst Anushua Choudhury. The settlement was also brought about by the work led by Senior Enforcement Counsel John Oleske and Special Counsel Monica Hanna, Assistant Attorneys General Carol Hunt, Conor Duffy, Diane Johnston, Leo O’Toole, Jeremy Pfetsch, Larry Reina, Michael Reisman, and Lois Saldana; Project Attorneys Wil Handley, Stephanie Torre, and Eve Woodin; Paralegals Ketty Dautruche and Christine Reynolds; Legal Assistant David Payne; Information Technology Specialists Hewson Chen and Paige Podolny; E-Discovery Document Review Specialist Kristin Petrella; and former Counsel for Opioids and Impact Litigation David Nachman.