NC may receive funds from settlements with 2 opioid manufacturers


North Carolina could receive millions of additional dollars to help people struggling with opioid addiction as part of recently announced proposed settlements with two opioid manufacturers.

The agreements, which are being negotiated between the offices of Attorney General Josh Stein and a bipartisan group of attorneys general, would require drug companies Allergan and Teva paying up to $6.6 billion in more than a dozen states across the country that have sued opioid manufacturers for their role in the nationwide opioid epidemic.

Overdose deaths have risen sharply in recent years, according to government data more than 3,300 people died of drug overdoses in 2020 — by 40% compared to the previous year. The total number of deaths in 2020 means that an average of nine North Carolinians died each day from an overdose.

“There is no amount of money that can repair such a loss,” Stein said in a press release last week. “But there is hope for recovery — and thanks to our continued work to hold these drug companies accountable, people in this state are getting the treatment and support they need to recover. And we’re not done yet.”

The agreement between a bipartisan group of government officials and Teva, an Israeli multinational pharmaceutical company, was announced on July 26. The proposed settlement would require Teva to pay state and local governments $4.25 billion over 13 years, The New York Times reported. .

Three days later, officials announced a second settlement with Allergan that would bring up to $2.37 billion in opioid payments. Allergan, the Irish-based manufacturer, previously made Norco and Kadian brand opioids and generics before selling the generics division, which made opioids, to Teva in 2016.

The lawsuit against Allergan alleges that the company “deceptively marketed opioids by downplaying the risk of addiction, overstating their benefits and encouraging doctors to treat patients with signs of addiction by prescribing more opioids,” according to Stein’s office.

No settlement was finalized. Officials are still hammering out details, including the structure of both agreements, as well as terms that require the companies to change the way they do business and be more transparent, Stein’s office said in a release.

NC will receive $750 million in the preliminary settlement

The announcement of the two agreements comes as local officials across North Carolina begin holding public meetings to discuss how they will spend the first payments coming from the other multi-state settlement totaling $26 billion that Stein and other attorneys general reached with four pharmaceutical companies last year.

This agreement reached with distributors Cardinal, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen and manufacturer Johnson & Johnson, to pay North Carolina $750 million more than 18 years.

The first payments were scheduled to go to national administrators early this year, and local officials in Wake, Johnston and other counties across the state have begun holding meetings to determine how their funds should be spent.

In 2022 alone, North Carolina is set to receive $93 million, or about 12% of the total settlement amount.

Under an agreement reached between Stein’s office and county and local officials, the money paid to North Carolina under last year’s settlement will be split between the state and local governments, with the state getting 15 percent of the funds and county and municipal governments getting the remaining 85 %. %.

The state could receive another $100 million in opioid payments under a separate agreement that North Carolina and several other states were still negotiating with the Sackler family, owners of Purdue Pharma, as of earlier this year.

For more North Carolina government and politics news, listen to the Under the Dome political podcast from The News & Observer and NC Insider. You can find it at or anywhere you get podcasts.

This story was originally published August 2, 2022 at 3:09 p.m.

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Avi Bajpai is a state political reporter for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun. He previously covered breaking news and public safety. Contact him at or (919) 346-4817.

NC may receive funds from settlements with 2 opioid manufacturers

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