Teva Pharmaceuticals
Teva PharmaceuticalsiStock

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has reached a settlement worth $225 million to resolve claims the drugmaker fueled an opioid epidemic in Texas by improperly marketing addictive pain medications, the state's attorney general said on Monday, according to Reuters.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Teva agreed to pay $150 million over 15 years and provide $75 million worth of generic Narcan, a medication used to counter the effects of opioid overdoses.

The deal is the largest Teva has struck in the more than 3,500 lawsuits it faces seeking to hold it and other drug companies responsible for an opioid abuse epidemic that led to hundreds of thousands of overdose deaths over the last two decades.

The Israeli company previously settled with Oklahoma and Louisiana. Teva did not admit wrongdoing as part of Monday's settlement, according to Reuters.

Kare Schultz, Teva's chief executive, in a statement said it "remains in the best interest of Teva to put these cases behind us and continue to focus on the patients we serve every day."

The settlement came after a jury in a similar case by the state of New York and two counties in December found Teva liable over claims that it engaged in misleading marketing practices that fueled opioid addiction in the state.

A month earlier, a California judge concluded Teva and three other drugmakers could not be held responsible for causing the epidemic in several large counties in that state.

In a separate incident, the European Commission last year announced that Teva is being investigated by EU antitrust regulators over whether it illegally hindered rivals’ access to its multiple sclerosis medicine Copaxone.

According to the announcement, the probe will look into whether Teva has abused its dominant market position in breach of EU antitrust rules, which could lead to hefty fines.

Several months earlier, European Union regulators fined Teva for colluding to delay a cheaper generic version of modafinil, a blockbuster sleep disorder drug.

In 2018, the Israeli justice ministry fined Teva $22 million for bribing foreign officials to win business in Russia, Ukraine and Mexico, rather than pressing charges in court against the drug-maker.