Pennsylvania Attorney General to Settle $450 Million Opioid Lawsuit Settlement

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FILE PHOTO: Bottles of prescription painkiller OxyContin, 40mg pills, made by Purdue Pharma L.D. sit on a shelf at a local pharmacy in Provo

HARRISBURG (PRESS RELEASE) – Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced his office has reached an agreement in principle with opioid manufacturer Endo International and its lenders. The multistate agreement would provide up to $450 million to participating states and local governments, ban promotion of Endo’s opioids, and require Endo to turn over millions of documents related to its role in the opioid crisis for publication in a public online archive.

AG Shapiro and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General have investigated several opioid distributors and manufacturers in an effort to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable, including Purdue, McKinsey, Teva, and others, for jet-fueling the opioid epidemic we continue to battle. Once finalized, the Endo settlement would provide as much as $450 million nationwide to communities hit hardest by the opioid epidemic.

“Every company that fueled this deadly epidemic will answer for their reckless actions,” said AG Shapiro. “Endo downplayed the risk of addiction, going so far as to market one of their opioids as having an abuse-deterrent formula, when in reality the product did nothing to deter abuse. Nothing will make up for the lives lost to this crisis, but today’s agreement will help to ensure we can fund programs Pennsylvania communities need to recover from this crisis.”

Today’s agreement in principle with Endo, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday night in the Southern District of New York, stems from allegations that Endo boosted opioid sales using deceptive marketing that downplayed the risk of addiction and overstated the benefits of opioids. Endo has its U.S. headquarters in Malvern, Pennsylvania and makes generic and branded opioids including Percocet and Endocet and also made Opana ER, which was withdrawn from the market in 2017. The states allege that Endo falsely promoted the benefits of Opana ER’s so-called abuse-deterrent formulation, which did nothing to deter oral abuse and led to deadly outbreaks of Hepatitis and HIV due to its widespread abuse via injection.

This agreement is the result of a multistate investigation, led by Attorney General Shapiro, into six manufacturers and three distributors for their roles in the opioids epidemic. That investigation has led to, including today’s settlement, $40.85 billion in settlement agreements with opioid manufacturers and distributors.

The resolution, which is contingent on final documentation and Bankruptcy Court approval, involves the following:

  • Requires payment of $450 million in cash over 10 years to participating states and subdivisions.
  • Requires Endo to turn over its opioid-related documents for publication online in a public document archive and pay $2.75 million for archival expenses.
  • Bans the marketing of Endo’s opioids forever.

Negotiations for this settlement were led by Pennsylvania with Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia.

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