Proposed settlement would provide additional settlement funds to Rhode Island to address opioid crisis, require significant document disclosure, and ban the promotion of Endo’s opioids
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Today Attorney General Peter Neronha and state attorneys general from 35 states have announced an agreement in principle with opioid maker Endo International plc and its lenders that would provide a total of up to $450 million to participating states and local governments.
The agreement in principle with Endo builds upon the Office of the Attorney General’s previous opioid litigation and settlements, which have secured more than $220 million in funds and life-saving medication for Rhode Island’s opioid prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts. Rhode Island’s share of the agreement in principle with Endo will be determined once documents are finalized and court approvals are obtained.
The agreement in principle with Endo, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Tuesday night in the Southern District of New York, resolves allegations that Endo boosted opioid sales using deceptive marketing that downplayed the risk of addiction and overstated the benefits. Endo, an Ireland-based drugmaker with its U.S. headquarters in Pennsylvania, makes generic and branded opioids including Percocet and Endocet, and also made Opana ER, which was discontinued in 2017 at the request of the Food and Drug Administration. 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 Office continues to pursue opioid manufacturers, distributors, and consultants all with a singular goal in mind: hold those companies accountable for deceptively peddling highly addictive narcotics to Rhode Islanders,” said Attorney Peter F. Neronha. “As a result of this work, we have recovered more than $220 million in dollars and lifesaving medicine for Rhode Island. What today’s settlement means is that additional money will come to our state to support opioid abatement efforts. These resources are in the process of being delivered and distributed for opioid prevention, treatment, and recovery. This is only the beginning, and more work remains to right the wrongs in our community, and this Office is committed to the task.”
The agreed upon 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, including Rhode Island, 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.
Rhode Island’s previous opioid recoveries to date include:
- $90.8 million from pharmaceutical distributors McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen over 18 years,
- $21.1 million from manufacturer Johnson & Johnson over nine years,
- $21 million from generic manufacturer Teva over 13 years, with more than half coming in the first year, plus an additional $78.5 million in lifesaving Naloxone and Suboxone drugs over 10 years, and
- $7.5 million from generic manufacturer Allergan over six years.