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Amneal Pharmaceuticals to pay $270m to settle opioid claims in US

Amneal Pharmaceuticals Inc., will pay $270 million to settle claims arising out of its role in fuelling a nationwide opioid epidemic, according to a company statement.

HQ Team

May 5, 2024: Amneal Pharmaceuticals Inc., will pay $270 million to settle claims arising out of its role in fuelling a nationwide opioid epidemic, according to a company statement.

New Jersey-based Amneal was one of the largest manufacturers of opioids from 2006 to 2019, and sold about nine billion pills, according to a statement from New York Attorney General Letitia James’s office.

“Attorney General James and a multistate coalition of attorneys general allege that Amneal knowingly failed to monitor and report suspicious orders placed by its customers, as it was required to by federal law.”

“Amneal became one of the largest generic pharmaceutical companies in the world by profiting off the sale of dangerous opioids,” said Attorney General James.

Naloxone nasal spray

“While this settlement can’t fully reverse the damage done due to the national crisis, it will provide essential funding and resources for New York and other states to ensure those suffering get the help they need.”

The settlement will provide $92.5 million in cash over 10 years and $180 million worth of naloxone nasal spray, an overdose treatment medication, to participating states and local governments.

In 2019, Attorney General James filed the nation’s most extensive lawsuit against opioid distributors and manufacturers for their role in the opioid epidemic, according to the statement.

Since then, Attorney General James has recovered more than $2.7 billion to support New York opioid reduction, treatment, and prevention efforts from companies including Hikma Pharmaceuticals, Publicis Health, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, Mallinckrodt, Allergan, Endo, McKesson, Cardinal Health and Amerisource Bergen.

No wrongdoing

Amneal stated that the settlement “in principle resolves substantially all opioids litigation” and did not admit to any wrongdoing.

“Amneal has reached a settlement in principle on the primary financial terms, with no admission of wrongdoing, for a nationwide resolution to the opioids cases that have been filed and that might have been filed against the company by states, counties, municipalities, and Native American Tribal Nations across the United States.

“We remain committed to helping those impacted by the opioid crisis by enhancing access to naloxone nasal spray, which is an emergency treatment for opioid overdose and helps save lives.”

The settlement impacted the revenue for the first quarter of the company.

Opioid deaths

Net loss attributable to Amneal Pharmaceuticals was $92 million in the first quarter of 2024 compared to $7 million in the first quarter of 2023. It included a pre-tax charge of $94 million for settlement in principle on a nationwide opioids settlement, according to the statement.

The number of people who died from a drug overdose in 2021 was over six times the number in 1999. The number of drug overdose deaths increased by more than 16% from 2020 to 2021. 

More than 75% of the nearly 107,000 drug overdose deaths in 2021 involved an opioid,  according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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