Opioid company Endo, multiple AGs reach agreement worth $450M

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Wednesday, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced a multi-million dollar agreement has been made between dozens of attorney generals across the country with an opioid manufacturer.

According to Ellison’s office, the agreement – worth $450 million – was made with the Ireland-based company Endo, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Tuesday night in New York. Endo had allegedly increased opioid sales after its promotions downplayed the possibility of addiction, and also overstated benefits of the drug.

State officials say Endo is known for opioids such as Percocet and Endocet, as well as Opana ER, which was taken off the market five years ago. According to Ellison, Endo lied about Opana ER’s benefits, and led to deadly outbreaks of hepatitis and HIV due to people injecting the drug.

If approved, Ellison’s office says the payment would be made over the course of 10 years to participating states and subdivisions, would ban the marketing of Endo’s opioids, and would require the company to turn over all opioid-related documents so they can be published online in a public document archive. The company would also be liable for the expense needed to archive the documents, a cost estimated at $2.75 million.

The amount that will be paid to Minnesota is expected be released when the bankruptcy process is finalized; however, Ellison’s office says millions of dollars could be issued to the state.

Ellison’s office released the following statement on the tentative agreement:

“No amount of money can make up for the death and destruction that opioid companies like Endo caused by putting their profits before people’s lives. Even so, I will continue to aggressively hold these companies accountable for the harm they’ve caused to protect the people of Minnesota. I’m encouraged by the potential of this agreement with Endo to move yet more critical resources to where the pain is – in our communities.

I’m pleased this agreement includes more document disclosure, which has been a top priority of mine. We need full transparency so that we can find out exactly what these companies did to us – so no one can ever do it again.”

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison

In late July, Ellison’s office announced settlements with two other opioid companies – Allergan and Teva Pharmaceuticals. Those combined settlement amounts are worth a total of $6.62 billion, which will also be distributed across the country.