Teva Pharmaceuticals, one of the largest opioid painkiller producers during the opioid crisis, has reached a tentative settlement to end thousands of lawsuits against it. The deal, which some outlets are reporting as worth up to $4.25 billion while others put it at up to $4.35 billion, would involve payouts made over a period of 13 years to state, local, and tribal programs that are working to fight the ongoing US opioid epidemic, the New York Times reports. More than $1 billion worth of the payouts will be made with donations of the overdose reversal medication Narcan instead of cash. The total includes $650 million the Israeli company had already committed in prior settlements, Bloomberg reports.
"While the agreement will include no admission of wrongdoing, it remains in our best interest to put these cases behind us and continue to focus on the patients we serve every day," Teva said in a statement. The deal, which has not yet been finalized and is contingent upon the majority of governments involved voting in favor of it, was negotiated by representatives from the offices of about a dozen state attorneys general. Teva wanted a deal with less cash and more Narcan, but some of the governments involved in the negotiations pointed out that the drug can be produced for less than the value allotted to it in the settlement agreement, Reuters reports. (Read more Teva Pharmaceuticals stories.)