OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – State leaders say they have reached a settlement with a pharmaceutical company for the company’s alleged role in the state’s opioid crisis.
On Friday, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter announced that the state has reached an out-of-court settlement with Endo Pharmaceuticals for $8.75 million.
Officials say the majority of the money will go into the Opioid Lawsuit Settlement Fund. The money will stay in that fund until legislation is passed to distribute the funds.
“The money from this settlement as well as the money from other settlements will allow us to begin abating Oklahoma’s problem,” Attorney General Hunter said. “Communities in our state continue to struggle with addiction and the fallout from the ongoing opioid crisis. It’s estimated as many as 100,000 Oklahomans continue struggling with addiction and every 25 minutes a baby is born suffering from opioid withdrawal. We look forward to working with members of the legislature and executive branch to ensure this money goes toward helping those who have been affected by or those who continue to struggle with opioid addiction.”
As part of the settlement, Endo also agreed to not employ or contract with sales representatives to promote opioids in the state, and will not support information promoting opioids in the state.
In 2016, the company changed its executive leadership team and stopped promoting opioid products. It also withdrew Opana ER from the market, discontinued research and development of new opioid products, and implemented anti-diversion measures to stop counterfeiting and theft.
“The measures taken by Endo to alleviate the opioid epidemic are commendable,” Attorney General Hunter said. “When they saw a problem, corporate executives proactively worked, internally and with stakeholders, to find a solution, not a cover-up, as we have discovered with numerous other companies during our years-long investigation.”