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Capitol Notebook: Iowa part of $2.4B multistate settlement with opioid maker
Also, it was another big financial year for the Iowa Lottery
Jul. 29, 2022 3:14 pm
DES MOINES — For the second time this week, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced the state and others have reached a preliminary billion-dollar settlement with a drug company to address the opioid crisis.
Miller’s office announced former opioid-maker Allergan has agreed to pay up to $2.37 billion to participating states and local governments to settle lawsuits.
The Attorney General’s office announced Wednesday that drugmaker Teva has agreed to contribute more than $4.2 billion in cash and medications to settle lawsuits in various states, including Iowa, that claimed the company contributed to the U.S. opioid epidemic.
If finalized, the settlements announced this week would provide as much as $6.6 billion nationwide, including to abate and help Iowans and other Americans recover from addiction through prevention and treatment.
AbbVie, which acquired Allergan in 2020, disclosed the agreement in its earnings announcement Friday.
Details of the settlements remain subject to ongoing negotiations, according to Miller’s office, including terms requiring business practice changes and transparency.
"We continue to make it a priority to hold manufacturers responsible, while ensuring victims of this epidemic receive the help they need,” Miller said in a statement.
Ireland-based Allergan formerly made Norco- and Kadian-branded and generic opioids. The company sold its opioid products to Teva in 2016.
Iowa and more than a dozen other states allege Allergan downplayed the addiction risks and overstated the benefits of its former Norco- and Kadian-branded and generic opioids; encouraged doctors to treat patients showing signs addiction by prescribing them more opioids; and failed to maintain effective controls to prevent diversion of opioids.
The $2.37 billion figure includes money that Allergan has already agreed to pay under settlements with individual states.
Earlier this week, Miller announced his office is suing tobacco companies to recover $133 million in withheld payments stemming from a 1998 settlement.
LOTTERY BOOM: The Iowa Lottery’s financial numbers will finish near the previous year’s record highs, the lottery said.
According to preliminary figures for the state budget year that ended June 30, the Iowa Lottery generated $433 million in total sales, $274 million in prizes were paid to players, and $98 million in proceeds went to state causes.
Iowa Lottery CEO Matt Strawn in a news release said June 30 closed the books on the most successful two-year period of sales, proceeds and prizes in Iowa Lottery history. Total sales in the previous state budget year reached a record $453 million.
“Combined with last year’s more than 20 percent increase in sales and proceeds, the Iowa Lottery continues to responsibly generate significant revenues for important Iowa causes — even in the face of increasingly challenging economic conditions,” Strawn said.
Gazette Des Moines Bureau