Oct 22, 2019

Teva's stock shines after agreeing to opioid settlements

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Data: Investing.com; Chart: Axios Visuals

Three of the four defendants agreeing to pay $260 million to settle opioid litigation with two Ohio counties have seen their stock prices plummet, as the settlement leaves 2,700 more local governments still suing over the distributors' roles in the addiction crisis.

Why it matters: The deal could serve as a template that would put the companies on the hook for $47 billion in damages to all 2,700 counties serving as plaintiffs in the lawsuits, depending on what happens in individual representative "bellwether trials" that will shape negotiations.

Yes, but: While the stock prices of Cardinal Health, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen expectedly fell by around 3% on Monday, Teva's stock jumped, rising as much as 18% during the day and ending 8.7% higher.

What's happening: Teva announced it had agreed to a separate settlement to resolve complaints against the company from a group of attorneys general from states around the country for its role in helping to fuel the opioid crisis.

  • Under the deal, Teva would donate $23 billion in opioid addiction treatment drugs and pay $250 million over 10 years.
  • Neither settlement includes an admission of liability from Teva.

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The opioids legal battles rage on

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The federal opioids litigation took a step closer to resolution yesterday when major drug companies settled with 2 Ohio counties just before a trial was scheduled to begin.

Yes, but: States, municipalities and the companies being sued are still hashing out a global resolution to the thousands of lawsuits pending across the country.

Go deeperArrowOct 22, 2019

Cardinal Health sets aside $5.6 billion for opioid lawsuits

Photo: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Drug distributor Cardinal Health registered a $5.6 billion pre-tax charge in the third quarter, saying the company "agreed in principle to a global settlement" with states, cities and others to pay that amount over 18 years to resolve the opioid cases.

Why it matters: Cardinal is the first company to set aside billions of dollars in preparation for any national opioids settlement, even though a definitive settlement agreement has not been finalized.

The massive opioids lawsuit is unlikely to be resolved soon

Oxycodone. Photo: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A settlement resolving all of the pending lawsuits over the opioid crisis is "unlikely in the near term," according to state attorneys general and attorneys involved in the litigation brought by communities, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: That means that it could be a long time before places still plagued by the opioid epidemic receive substantial new funding to address it.

Go deeperArrowOct 31, 2019