Allergan announces opioid litigation settlement with two Ohio plaintiffs for $5 million

Allergan on Friday confirmed that it has reached a settlement with two Ohio counties in federal opioid multidistrict litigation scheduled for trial in October. Under the agreed terms, Allergan said it will pay $1.9 million to Summit County and $3.1 million to Cuyahoga County, adding the settlement "resolves all claims" against it in connection with the upcoming trial.

According to the company, settling these cases "is in [our] interest in light of anticipated time and defense costs for this first multi-defendant bellwether trial in the federal multidistrict litigation." The drugmaker added that it is "seeking indemnification from other parties" in regards to one of its products involved in the lawsuit. 

Allergan indicated that the settlement covers its branded opioid products, noting it does not have liability for generic claims as all its generic assets were divested to Teva in 2016. The company also pointed out that it has "not actively marketed or promoted" opioids since 2013. 

The news comes after Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $572 million for its role in fuelling the opioid crisis in Oklahoma, although the state had requested a penalty of more than $17 billion. Both Purdue Pharma and Teva reached settlements in the Oklahoma case ahead of the trial, agreeing to pay $270 million and $85 million, respectively. 

Meanwhile, a recent report suggested that Purdue has offered to pay as much as $12 billion to resolve more than 2000 pending lawsuits over the company's alleged role in the US opioid crisis. A source familiar with the matter later indicated that Allergan, Johnson & Johnson and Endo International were interested in settling the lawsuits out of court as well. 

For additional analysis, see ViewPoints: Johnson & Johnson's loss in opioid case seen as win for industry.  

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