New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced an agreement with opioid manufacturer Allergan Finance.
LLC and its affiliates would deliver up to $200 million to New York state to help combat the opioid crisis. The agreement resolves claims brought by Attorney General James for the company’s role in helping to fuel the opioid epidemic and requires the company to make full payment of the $200 million by mid-2022 if certain conditions are met — more than $150 million of which will go towards opioid abatement.
Since June alone, Attorney General James has now negotiated to bring back up to $1.7 billion to combat the opioid epidemic.
Today’s agreement also makes enforceable a bar stopping Allergan and all of its subsidiaries, predecessors, and successors from selling opioids in New York and acknowledges Allergan’s prior exit from the opioid business.
As a result of today’s agreement, Allergan will be removed from New York’s ongoing opioid trial, currently underway in Suffolk County State Supreme Court.
“For more than two decades, opioids have wreaked havoc on New Yorkers and Americans across the nation — causing pain, addiction, and death,” said Attorney General James. “Our ongoing trial has been about the role companies like Allergan and its predecessors played in helping grow this epidemic, profiting while Americans suffered. But today’s agreement keeps Allergan out of the opioid business for the next decade and has the company paying as much as $200 million. We’ve now negotiated up to $1.7 billion for critical opioid treatment, prevention, and education programs. While no amount of money will ever make up for the thousands who lost their lives or became addicted to opioids across our state, these funds will be used to prevent future devastation.”
In March 2019, Attorney General James filed the nation’s most extensive lawsuit to hold accountable the various manufacturers and distributors responsible for the opioid epidemic.
In addition to Allergan, the manufacturers named in the complaint included Purdue Pharma and its affiliates, as well as members of the Sackler Family (owners of Purdue) and trusts they control; Janssen Pharmaceuticals and its affiliates (including its parent company Johnson & Johnson); Mallinckrodt LLC and its affiliates; Endo Health Solutions and its affiliates; and Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. and its affiliates. The distributors named in the complaint were McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health Inc., Amerisource Bergen Drug Corporation, and Rochester Drug Cooperative Inc.
As part of today’s agreement, Allergan will pay New York state a total of $200 million if certain conditions are met.
On top of this payment, Attorney General James negotiated robust injunctive relief. Allergan will be prohibited from promoting opioids or opioid products through sales representatives, sponsorships, financial support, or any other means; will not be allowed to provide financial incentives to its sales and marketing employees for the sale of these products; and will not, directly or indirectly, provide financial support or in-kind support to any third party that primarily engages in conduct that promotes opioids or opioid products.
Allergan will not be allowed to use, assist, or employ any third party to engage in any activity that Allergan itself would be prohibited from engaging in pursuant to today’s agreement.
Further, Allergan will be prohibited from lobbying federal, state, or local legislative or regulatory authorities about opioids or opioid products.
Finally, Allergan will have to make additional information about opioids and opioid products more accessible to the public, including to patients, health care providers, and others.
Allergan will share its clinical data with a third-party data center or platform owner to allow researchers qualified under the program to access the company’s propriety data under the terms of the project.
Today’s agreement would additionally resolve lawsuits against Allergan by Nassau and Suffolk counties if the county legislatures approve the agreement.
In the meantime, Attorney General James, this morning, made a motion to remove Allergan from New York’s opioid trial.
In September, an agreement with Endo was reached that has already delivered $50 million to New York state and Nassau and Suffolk counties to combat the opioid crisis and removed the opioid manufacturer from New York’s ongoing opioid trial.
Also, in September, the bankruptcy court in Purdue confirmed a $4.5 billion plan — at least $200 million of which will be earmarked for New York — from the Sackler family and foundations that they control, will end the Sacklers’ ability to manufacture opioids ever again, and will shut down Purdue Pharma.
In July, a settlement with McKesson, Cardinal Health, and Amerisource Bergen that will deliver up to $1 billion to New York state to combat the opioid epidemic was announced.
In June, a settlement that ended Johnson & Johnson’s sale of opioids nationwide and that will deliver $230 million to New York alone was announced.
The deals with Johnson & Johnson, McKesson, Cardinal Health, and Amerisource Bergen have a global value of approximately $26 billion.
The cases against Mallinckrodt and Rochester Drug Cooperative are now moving separately through U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
The trial against the final remaining defendant — Teva Pharmaceuticals USA — is currently underway, with closing arguments slated to begin today.
Pursuant to the new law establishing the opioid settlement fund, all funds collected by the state from opioid settlements or litigation victories will be allocated specifically for abatement efforts in communities devastated by the opioid epidemic and will not go towards the state’s general fund.
Separately, but related to her work on opioids, this past February, Attorney General James co-led a coalition of nearly every attorney general in the nation in delivering more than $573 million — more than $32 million of which was earmarked for New York state — toward opioid treatment and abatement in an agreement and consent judgment with McKinsey & Company.
This settlement was negotiated by First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy, Senior Advisor and Special Counsel M. Umair Khan, and Assistant Attorneys General Carol Hunt and Noah Popp.
The settlement was also brought about by the work led by Senior Enforcement Counsel John Oleske and Special Counsel Monica Hanna, as well as Assistant Attorneys General Conor Duffy, Diane Johnston, Leo O’Toole, Jeremy Pfetsch, Larry Reina, Michael Reisman, Lois Saldana, and Louis Testa; Project Attorneys Wil Handley, Stephanie Torre, and Eve Woodin; Paralegal Ketty Dautruche; Legal Assistant David Payne; Director of Research and Analytics Jonathan Werberg; Data Scientist Gautam Sisodia; Data Analyst Anushua Choudhury; Information Technology Specialists Hewson Chen and Paige Podolny; E-Discovery Document Review Specialist Kristin Petrella; and former Counsel for Opioids and Impact Litigation David Nachman.