Reuters Quotes Hunter Shkolnik on Teva Deal
November 6, 2019
When Teva announced the value of the donated medicine, a generic version of opioid addiction treatment Suboxone, it based the figure on the drug’s list price, which does not account for significant discounts routinely provided by the drugmaker.
If based on the estimated cost to manufacture the drugs, the value could be as low as $1.5 billion, drug pricing consultants and industry analysts say. A Teva spokeswoman declined to comment on the cost analysis for generic Suboxone, a combination of buprenorphine and the opioid reversal agent naloxone.
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 Corp, Cardinal Health Inc and McKesson Corp.