CNBC Quoted Hunter Shkolnik on $23 billion drug giveaway
October 31, 2019
In interviews with Reuters, lawyers representing local governments in the opioid litigation said the figure proposed by Teva inflates the real value of the drugs. They said the proposal will not be enough to address a nationwide addiction crisis that has claimed some 400,000 lives over the last two decades.
The deal is “overvalued to make the settlement look better,” said Hunter Shkolnik, a lawyer on the plaintiffs’ executive committee that is managing more than 2,300 federal lawsuits consolidated in the U.S. District Court in Cleveland.
“I don’t believe a no-cash payment from Teva, one of the largest generic manufacturers in the world, is appropriate,” he told Reuters.
Israel-based Teva is looking to reach a nationwide settlement over its role in selling opioid painkillers, together with drugmaker Johnson & Johnson and the three largest U.S. drug distributors, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson.
Negotiations between these companies and four state attorneys general leading the talks on behalf of their counterparts have focused on a total settlement value worth about $48 billion, including cash and free medicines.