Aug 6, 2019

Mallinckrodt suspends spinoff of specialty generics unit due to opioid litigation

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Mallinckrodt said Tuesday morning that it will suspend the planned spin-off of its specialty generics unit, which primarily makes opioid drugs, due to ongoing litigation.

Why it matters: It reflects how those who (allegedly) contributed to a public health crisis are now facing a public markets crisis.

The bottom line: "Mallinckrodt shares have fallen 60% this year on concern about the company’s possible exposure to litigation over the U.S. opioid crisis. ... Berenberg analyst Patrick Trucchio has estimated that generic-drug makers may be responsible for 30% of opioid-related liabilities, with Mallinckrodt facing a potential hit of as much as $6.4 billion." ⁠— John Lauerman, Bloomberg

Go deeper: Watch: The future of pain management

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Opioid manufacturers have a new market: India

As opioid manufacturers sort through their share of lawsuits in the U.S., those companies are fueling the rise of India's painkiller market, the Guardian reports with Kaiser Health News.

The big picture: Indians have in the past viewed pain as something to be suffered through, but that mindset is changing, and the result is eerily similar to the early stages of what Americans now consider a crisis.

Go deeperArrowAug 28, 2019

The first big opioids verdict is both big and small

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Johnson & Johnson has officially been found liable in Oklahoma for deceptive and false marketing of opioids — the first major instance of legal accountability for the opioid epidemic.

Yes, but: If Oklahoma's $572 million judgment is a sign of things to come, states may only be looking at short-term relief — and drug companies may only incur short-term annoyances, rather than crippling penalties.

Go deeperArrowAug 27, 2019

Wall Street's fear of an opioids settlement

Data: Money.net; Chart: Axios Visuals

The stock prices of AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson plummeted yesterday after Bloomberg reported the drug distributors made an opening offer of $10 billion to settle their portion of the national opioids lawsuit.

Between the lines: That figure was a lot higher than Wall Street had expected for those companies, indicating that other defendants — including opioid manufacturers — likely would pay tens of billions of dollars to avoid going to trial.

Go deeperArrowAug 7, 2019