Hawaii Attorney General Holly Shikada has signed off on an agreement in principle with opioid manufacturer Endo International PLC and its lenders, joining the attorneys general of 33 other states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands in settlement that would provide up to $450 million, to be paid over 10 years, to participating states and local governments.
The Ireland-based Endo makes generic and branded opioids, including Percocet and Endocet, as well as the since-discontinued Opana ER. The company, which has a U.S. headquarters in Malvern, Pennsylvania, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Tuesday in the Southern District of New York.
The settlement includes not just financial compensation but provisions that ban promotion of Endo’s opioids and require the company to turn over millions of documents related to its role in the national opioid crisis for publication and public online archive.
"With this latest settlement, Hawaii, together with a broad coalition of states, continues its fight to hold companies responsible for fueling the opioids epidemic," said Attorney General Holly Shikada. "The agreement announced today marks another significant milestone in addressing the devastating impacts of the epidemic on communities in Hawaii and across the country. Although much more work remains to be done, we are committed to finishing the job."
The settlement is the latest in a string of resolutions to class-action suits taken against companies accused of causing and perpetuating the opioid crisis.
In February, drug manufacturer Johnson & Johnson and wholesalers AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson agreed to pay $26 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits accusing the companies of knowingly contributing to the national opioid crisis. As a party to the settlement, Hawaii will receive $78 million over the next 18 years of opioid treatment, prevention and education, as well as other abatement measures and strategies.
Michael Tsai covers local and state politics for Spectrum News Hawaii.