Source: RLS Media
According to officials, New Jersey and its eligible counties and municipalities are on track to receive approximately $508 million in settlement agreements with pharmacy chains CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart, and drug makers Teva Pharmaceuticals and Allergan, to resolve claims involving their alleged roles in fomenting the country’s opioid crisis.
“While thousands of New Jerseyans have lost their lives to the opioid epidemic and thousands of others continue to struggle with opioid addiction, these large corporations and drug makers profited from the pain and struggle of our communities,” said state Attorney General Matthew Platkin.
The settlements with CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart resolve allegations that the pharmacy chains helped fuel the opioid epidemic by ignoring red flags that prescriptions were being diverted into illegal trafficking.
Teva, an Israeli-based drug manufacturer, makes Actiq and Fentora, which are branded fentanyl products for cancer pain, as well as a number of generic opioids, including oxycodone. Ireland-based Allergan formerly made Norco- and Kadian-branded and generic opioids. The company sold its generics portfolio, including opioid products, to Teva in 2016.
The settlements reached with Allergan and Teva resolve allegations that the drug makers helped fuel the U.S. opioid epidemic by overstating the painkillers’ benefits, downplaying the risk of addiction, and failing to maintain controls to prevent opioid misuse.
In addition to the financial settlements, the pharmacies have agreed to court-ordered injunctive relief that requires the pharmacies to monitor, report, and share data about suspicious activity related to opioid prescriptions.
The opioid abatement funds New Jersey stands to receive from all five settlements will be split 50/50 between the State and its eligible subdivisions pursuant to the Memorandum of Agreement Between the State of New Jersey and Local Governments on Opioid Litigation Recoveries, which establishes binding terms for the distribution and spending of funds from any national opioid litigation resolution and is applicable by its terms to these five settlement agreements.
“While thousands of New Jerseyans have lost their lives to the opioid epidemic and thousands of others continue to struggle with opioid addiction, these large corporations and drug makers profited from the pain and struggle of our communities.
“While this settlement does not bring our loved ones back, it will bring resources to the state that will support programs and initiatives that save lives,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.