Teva Pharmaceutical Industries expects to finalize an opioid settlement in the United States by the end of the year and start paying in 2023, the chief executive said Sunday, while confirming he is unlikely to renew his contract next year. .
After years of negotiations, Israel-based Teva in July proposed a $4.35 billion nationwide settlement — mostly cash and partly drugs that will reach $300 million to $400 million in 13 years — to resolve its opioid lawsuits. .
US states, cities and counties have filed more than 3,000 lawsuits against opioid manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies, accusing them of downplaying the risks of addiction and failing to prevent pills from being diverted for illegal use.
CEO Kare Schultz said Teva was working on legal drafts that should be finalized by the end of September. It then needs approval from states and subdivisions within states.
“If they sign up, when all that is done … then it will go into effect and that means the first payments will be next year and take 13 years,” Schultz told a news conference. “So by the end of the year you should have this clarification that everything is coming together and we’re going to start paying next year.”
Teva denies wrongdoing and says it sold legal drugs approved for the treatment of pain.
The U.S. opioid crisis has resulted in more than 500,000 overdose deaths in the past two decades, including more than 80,000 in 2021 alone, according to government data.
Schultz, who took over as CEO in December 2017, confirmed he was unlikely to renew his contract, which expires on November 1, 2023, and says he will turn 62. But he said he would like to stay on the company’s board.
He said Teva would further reduce costs by closing some of its facilities. Since 2017, it has reduced the number of factories from 80 to 53 and plans to close another 10 in the coming years.
Teva’s publicly traded shares in New York are so far up 10% in 2022 to $8.81, but a long way from a peak of $72 in 2015.
Schultz questioned the low share price, noting that Teva has a price-to-earnings ratio of about 3.5, while a normal price should be 10. very stable, which will grow and generate money over the long term — so it’s very good for long-term investors,” Schultz said.
“Right now we’re worth a third of what you’ll see normal if we didn’t have these risk factors.”
He suggested that the low stock price was largely the result of high debt, which has fallen from $34 billion to $20 billion, and the opioid disputes.
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