Endo breaks from the pack with opioid litigation settlement talks

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Endo Pharmaceuticals has been settling litigation for hundreds of millions of dollars while it works to cut its $8 billion in debt. (Matthew Henry/Burst)

Trying to dig out from under $8 billion in debt while staring at 1,000 lawsuits tied to its opioid business, Endo is said to be trying to negotiate its own settlement deal with lawyers for states and cities.

By striking a deal on its own rather than as part of an industrywide settlement, Endo might be able to cut its exposure. Financial terms of the deal have not yet been hammered out, according to Bloomberg reports citing three unnamed sources, but the Dublin-based drugmaker reportedly has talked about changing up the way it markets drugs.

“It makes sense for a company with Endo’s financial challenges to come up with a deal and not wait for everyone else,’’ Richard Ausness, a University of Kentucky law professor, told Bloomberg. “In these situations, it’s every man for himself.’’

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RELATED: Judge charts course to trial for opioid litigation as settlement talks hit barriers

Hundreds of cities and counties around the U.S. are suing opioid makers and distributors to recoup costs related to the opioid addiction crisis. They allege Endo, Purdue, Johnson & Johnson, AmerisourceBergen and others "grossly misrepresented" opioid risks and that distributors failed to monitor suspicious orders. New York City itself is seeking $500 million, suggesting a mass settlement could run into the billions of dollars.

For Endo, the settlement comes after a tough multiyear stretch during which it has lost more than 90% of its market value. The company has suffered from U.S. pricing pressure, executive turnover and more.

RELATED: After setting aside $200M, Endo settles 1,300 testosterone liability lawsuits

Even as the company has been cutting jobs and operations, it has been aggressively settling overhanging litigation. In June, it struck a deal to put to rest 1,300 lawsuits tied to the marketing and risks of selling testosterone enhancing drugs. It has set aside $200 million for that. In March, it joined Teva and Japanese drugmaker Teikoku Seiyaku in a $270 million settlement of pay-to-delay allegations involving lidocaine pain patches.