Updated: September 29, 2022
A coalition of attorneys general, including Hawai‘i’s Holly T. Shikada, has reached an agreement in principle with opioid maker Endo International Plc and its lenders to provide up to $450 million to participating states and local governments over 10 years — and ban forever the promotion of Endo’s opioids.
It also requires Endo — an Ireland-based drugmaker with its US headquarters in Malvern, PA —to turn over millions of documents related to its role in the opioid crisis for publication in a public online archive and pay $2.75 million for archival expenses.
The agreement in principle with Endo, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Tuesday night in the Southern District of New York, resolves allegations that Endo boosted opioid sales using deceptive marketing that downplayed the risk of addiction and overstated the benefits.
Endo makes generic and branded opioids including Percocet and Endocet, and also made Opana ER, which was withdrawn from the market in 2017.
The states allege Endo falsely promoted the benefits of Opana ER’s so-called abuse-deterrent formulation, which did nothing to deter oral abuse and led to deadly outbreaks of Hepatitis and HIV due to its widespread abuse via injection.
“With this latest settlement, Hawaiʻi, together with a broad coalition of states, continues its fight to hold companies responsible for fueling the opioids epidemic,” Attorney General Shikada said. “The agreement announced today marks another significant milestone in addressing the devastating impacts of the epidemic on communities in Hawaiʻi and across the country. Although much more work remains to be done, we are committed to finishing the job.”
In 2017, the US Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. Opioid overdoses accounted for more than 42,000 deaths in 2016, more than any previous year on record. An estimated 40% of opioid overdose deaths involved a prescription opioid.
The agreement is contingent on final documentation and Bankruptcy Court approval. The negotiations are being led by Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia.
The agreement also is part of a $6 billion deal Endo reached with some of its creditors before filing for bankruptcy in an effort to settle thousands of lawsuits over its alleged role in the country’s opioid epidemic