In 2016, Teva acquired Actavis, a generics unit of Allergan. For Teva’s deal to be finalized, Allergan also has to reach a settlement with these plaintiffs. Lawyers familiar with negotiations said they expected that announcement to be made soon.
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The deal is also contingent upon an overwhelming majority of state, local and tribal governments voting in favor it.
Lawyers on an executive committee negotiating for local governments urged everyone to back the hard-won deal: “We encourage all these groups to sign onto this agreement to allow these resources to get into the hands of those who need them as fast as possible,” they said in a statement.
While that outcome seems likely, one state that participated, among the dozen that negotiated the terms, has not yet signed on: New York, along with Nassau and Suffolk counties, which prevailed against Teva in a civil jury trial last December. Under the shadow of a second phase of that trial to determine financial remedies, New York is still in talks with the company, a spokeswoman for the New York attorney general’s office said.
Eliciting an acceptable offer from Teva has been a particularly protracted battle for the states, tribes and municipalities that brought cases against it. While Purdue Pharma, for example, has often been associated with amped-up and misleading marketing of its branded drugs to doctors, manufacturers of generic drugs do not formally make sales calls to them. Teva maintained that it did not market its opioids to doctors.
One of Teva’s initial settlement offers, in 2019, consisted almost entirely of medications, along with a small amount of cash. While Johnson & Johnson and the three drug distributors that also participated in that early offer went on to strike a deal two years later, Teva continued to litigate.
But in December 2020, the Senate Finance Committee released findings that were particularly critical of Teva, among other manufacturers, for the millions of dollars it paid to tax-exempt groups that lobbied lawmakers and others, pressing for greater patient access to pain medications. At trial, plaintiffs said that Teva, which assumed a dominant position in the generics market by buying smaller companies, had ignored red flags such as outsized pill orders.