Attorney General: R.I. part of a $450M settlement with opioid maker Endo

ATTORNEY GENERAL PETER F. NERONHA is among 36 state attorney generals that reached a tentative $450 million settlement with pharmacuetical company Endo International plc, an opioid manufacturer. PBN FILE IMAGE

PROVIDENCE – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha says he and attorney generals from 35 other states have reached a $450 million nationwide settlement with opioid maker Endo International plc and its lenders.

Endo, based in Ireland with U.S. headquarters in Malvern., Pa., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Tuesday, but the agreement in principle resolves allegations that Endo boosted opioid sales using deceptive marketing that downplayed the risk of addiction and overstated the benefits. Endo is the maker of Percocet and Endocet and also made Opana ER, which was discontinued in 2017 at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Neronha’s office said.

The states also allege that Endo falsely promoted the benefits of Opana ER’s abuse-deterrent formulation, which did not deter its abuse and led to deadly outbreaks of Hepatitis and HIV due to its widespread abuse by injection.

Rhode Island’s share of the settlement will be determined after the court approves the agreement, Neronha said.

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“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,” Neronha said in a statement.

Neronha’s office says the settlement:

• Requires payment of $450 million in cash over 10 years to participating states, including Rhode Island, and other agencies.

• Requires Endo to turn over its opioid-related documents for publication online in a public document archive. The company must also pay $2.75 million for archival expenses.

• Bans the marketing of Endo’s opioids.

This pending settlement is one of several opioid recoveries that Rhode Island has been involved in. According to Neronha’s office, others 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.

• $7.5 million from generic manufacturer Allergan over six years.

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