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Drugmaker Endo settles opioid claims by N.Y., counties for $50M


(Reuters) – Drugmaker Endo International PLC on Thursday said it has agreed to pay $50 million to resolve lawsuits by New York state and two of its largest counties related to the sale and marketing of opioids.

Endo said the settlement includes no admission of wrongdoing by Endo or its subsidiaries.

The settlement severs Endo from an ongoing trial in lawsuits by New York Attorney General Letitia James and Suffolk and Nassau counties. Claims against AbbVie Inc. and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries remain pending.

The deal came after the nation’s three largest drug distributors — McKesson Corp., AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health — as well as Johnson & Johnson on Saturday said they would move forward with a proposed national $26 billion settlement resolving opioid cases against them.

Dublin-based Endo is not part of that deal.

“While litigation of the remaining opioid claims is ongoing, Endo is focused on its primary goal of achieving a global settlement,” the company said. “Endo is also currently exploring other strategic alternatives and may seek to implement one or more of those alternatives in the event it is unable to achieve a global settlement.”

Hunter Shkolnik, a lawyer for Nassau County, said he was “happy our clients can get closure and it has kept Endo out of bankruptcy, that would have hurt everyone.”

In July, Endo agreed to pay $35 million to settle a lawsuit by Tennessee local governments and on behalf of a child allegedly born addicted to painkillers accusing the drugmaker of fueling the opioid epidemic.

New York attorney general’s spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Endo had removed its long-lasting opioid painkiller Opana ER from the market in July 2017.



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