Teva Jumps on NYSE on a Bit of Good News
An opioid-abuse lawsuit settlement reached by drugmakers Endo and Allergan Tuesday could bode well for Teva’s legal future, as does the release of an FDA-approved generic version of EpiPen JR
Earlier that day, both Endo International PLC and Allergan PLC announced they had reached a tentative settlement in order to avoid going to trial over allegations pertaining to their role in the U.S. opioid crisis. The two are among a group of drug makers—Teva included—accused of contributing to the opioid abuse crisis, and there are currently around 2,000 related lawsuits pending in court. To avoid going to court on October 21 in Cleveland, Ohio, Allergan agreed to pay $5 million and Endo will pay $10 million, though some reports question Allergan’s ability to completely avoid going to trial in October as the settlement does not pertain to generic painkillers. Both companies will not admit to the charges.
The low settlement could bode well for Teva, whose main exposure results from its 2016 acquisition of Allergan’s generic drug business Actavis, which was one of the top U.S. sellers of opioids in 2006-2012. In May, Teva chose to make an $85 million one-time payment in Oklahoma rather than go to trial.
Also on Tuesday, Teva announced that its FDA-approved generic version of Mylan NV’s EpiPen JR was available in most U.S. pharmacies, mere days before the start of the school year. The pens inject epinephrine, a very inexpensive hormone used to treat a severe allergic reaction to food or insect stings called anaphylaxis, which can be fatal if not treated immediately. Until now, Teva has only released an adult generic version, but the junior version, which will retail at a wholesale price of $300 a pair, is intended for children in the 15-30 kilogram range.
Every school in the U.S. is required to keep a supply of EpiPens due to their status as a life-saving drug, but both Mylan and Teva have been struggling to keep up with market demand for a while, leading to shortages.