Teva is the latest pharmaceutical manufacturer or distributor to reach a tentative settlement with states, tribes and other jurisdictions for its role in the long-running opioid crisis. Over 500,000 Americans reportedly died of overdoses during the crisis, which was epitomized by the billionaire Sackler family’s efforts to reduce their own liability by hiding most of the family’s billions behind the corporate bankruptcy of opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma, which the family controlled. According to news stories, the Teva settlement is contingent on related actions involving other firms.
U.S. PIRG supported the Congressional Sackler Act, an unsuccessful effort to prevent the family from participating in the Purdue bankruptcy as a non-debtor, a rarely-used legal contrivance which shielded much of their billions. Congress continues to seek amendments to prevent others from using the ploy.