Amneal agrees to $272.5M settlement to resolve opioid lawsuits

Amneal Pharmaceuticals has agreed to pay $272.5 million to settle approximately 900 lawsuits brought by state, local and Native American jurisdictions claiming that the New Jersey generics producer fueled the opioid crisis by failing to act on suspicious opioid orders.

Amneal revealed the settlement in its quarterly earnings presentation on Friday. Without admitting wrongdoing, the company said will make payments over the next 10 years, including $92.5 million in cash and $180 million worth of naloxone, the generic name of Emergent BioSolutions’ Narcan, a nasal spray that can quickly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose and restore breathing.

Instead of accepting the product, parties can opt to receive 25% of the product’s value up to $45 million over the last four years of the agreement, Amneal added. The company values a naloxone two-pack at $125.

“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,” Amneal said in its annual report.

The settlement was revealed a few days after California announced it had made a deal with Amneal to purchase naloxone at a discounted price of $24 for a two-pack. The previous price California paid was $41 per two-pack.

In a release about the settlement on Friday, New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, had pointed criticism for Amneal, which sold nearly nine million opioid pills from 2006 to 2019.

“Amneal became one of the largest generic pharmaceutical companies in the world by profiting off the sale of dangerous opioids,” James said. “While this settlement can’t fully reverse the damage done as a result of 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.”

Amneal’s agreement brings the settlement amount paid by drugmakers, distributors, pharmacies and consultants to more than $51 billion to resolve lawsuits in the U.S. related to the opioid crisis, Reuters said. California, for example, has received $4.25 billion, in the opioid settlements. New York has collected $2.7 billion.

The largest opioid settlement came in 2021 when Johnson & Johnson and three of the U.S.’s largest distributors—AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson—agreed to pay $26 billion to seven states. Last year, Teva came to an agreement with 48 states on a $4.25 billion opioid settlement.

Amneal reported revenue of $659 million for the first quarter, which was an 18% increase year over year. The company is guiding to a revenue window of between $2.55 billion and $2.65 billion. Last year, Amneal’s revenue was $2.39 billion.