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Teva fueled opioid addiction in New York, jury finds



Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd fueled opioid addiction in New York condition, a jury uncovered on Thursday, a setback for a business nonetheless facing thousands of other opioid-associated lawsuits close to the United States.
The verdict, which followed a just about six-thirty day period New York state court docket demo in a situation brought by the state and two of its counties, does not incorporate damages, which will be decided later on.
The judge in the circumstance is still taking into consideration a request Teva designed for a mistrial after a lawyer for the point out cited an inaccurate statistic about opioid prescriptions in his closing argument. If the verdict stands, it could set stress on Teva to achieve a nationwide settlement with other states and regional governments over opioid statements.
New York and Nassau and Suffolk counties had accused the Israel-centered drugmaker of engaging in deceptive marketing techniques that fueled opioid habit in the state, like by pushing medicines for off-label use.
They centered on Actiq and Fentora, cancer agony prescription drugs created by Cephalon Inc, a corporation Teva purchased in 2011, as nicely as generic opioids offered by Teva.
The evidence at demo integrated a parody video produced for a Cephalon revenue conference in 2006 in which the villain, Dr. Evil from the “Austin Powers” films, talks about advertising and marketing the prescription drugs for non-cancer discomfort, and an additional video, based mostly on a courtroom scene in the movie “A Number of Excellent Adult males,” in which a Cephalon worker tells a law firm played by Tom Cruise that he “are unable to handle the truth” about what profits representatives want to do to meet up with quotas.
Teva argued at trial that it complied with federal and point out polices and denied participating in misleading promoting. It attributed a surge in opioid prescriptions to a improve in healthcare standards of care emphasizing pain procedure starting in the 1990s.
U.S. officers have stated that by 2019, the health disaster had led to practically 500,000 opioid overdose fatalities around two decades. Extra than 100,000 people died from drug overdoses all through the 12-month period ending April 2021, the U.S. Centers for Sickness Manage and Avoidance mentioned in a report in November, a record driven in huge element by fatalities from opioids like fentanyl.
The New York lawsuit is just one of additional than 3,300 filed by point out, area and Indigenous American tribal governments throughout the country accusing drugmakers of reducing the addictiveness of opioid discomfort drugs, and distributors and pharmacies of ignoring red flags that they were remaining diverted into unlawful channels.
Other defendants in the scenario settled just before or during trial – main pharmacies, distributors McKesson Corp, AmerisourceBergen Corp and Cardinal Health Inc, and drugmakers Johnson &#038 Johnson, Endo International and AbbVie Inc. AbbVie’s settlement, for $200 million, came at the pretty close of the trial, on the day of closing arguments.
The settlement with J&#038J and the distributors was section of a nationwide deal well worth up to $26 billion. Teva did not take portion in that deal.
Teva formerly prevailed in a comparable case when a California choose on Nov. 2 dominated that it and other drugmakers had been not liable in a lawsuit brought by many counties in the condition.
OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma filed for bankruptcy in 2019 and had hoped to resolve a flood of lawsuits more than the painkiller via a deal in which the company’s former house owners, the Sackler loved ones, would spend $4.5 billion in exchange for immunity from potential lawsuits. However, a federal judge on Dec. 17 scrapped the offer, a conclusion the organization was expected to attractiveness.

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