Oklahoma reaches $8.75 million settlement with opiate maker

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – The state of Oklahoma will receive $8.75 million from two pharmaceutical companies in a deal announced Friday that will end legal action the state was considering against the opioid manufacturers.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter announced the agreement with Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Par Pharmaceutical, Inc., both subsidiaries of Dublin-based Endo International. Without the agreement, Hunter said he planned to file suit against the company alleging it violated state law by deceptively marketing opioid pain medications in a way that understated the risk of addiction.

The company denied the allegations and admitted no wrongdoing as part of the agreement.

Endo’s Executive Vice President Matthew Maletta said in a statement that the company was pleased with the resolution.

Endo in 2016 withdrew the pain medication it produced, Opana and Opana ER, from the market and discontinued research and development into opiate drugs, Hunter said.

“The measures taken by Endo to alleviate the opioid epidemic are commendable,” Hunter said in a statement.

After a trial last summer, an Oklahoma judge ordered drugmaker Johnson & Johnson to pay the state $465 million to address the state’s opioid crisis. The state also reached pre-trial settlements totaling $355 million with two other drugmakers: Oxycontin-maker Purdue Pharma and Israeli-owned Teva Pharmaceuticals.