Drugmaker Teva liable for fueling Opioid addiction – New York Jury

Drugmaker Teva liable for fueling Opioid addiction - New York Jury

A New York jury last Thursday reached a verdict that Israel-based drug manufacturer,Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. fueled opioid addiction in New York state after more than eight days of deliberation.

This verdict is coming nearly six months after the case instituted by the state and two of its counties began in New York state court. The verdict however does not include damages, which will be determined later.

The pharmaceutical company was accused by the state of New York and the counties of engaging in misleading marketing practices that fueled opioid addiction in the state, including pushing drugs for off-label use.

They cited the cancer pain drugs, Actiq and Fentora, produced by Cephalon Inc, a company Teva bought in 2011, as well as generic opioids sold by Teva.

Letitia James, New York Attorney General described the verdict as a significant day for the state and for every family and community torn apart by opioids. Jayne Conroy and Hunter Shkolnik, who represent Suffolk and Nassau counties respectively, also hailed it as a massive victory.

The drug manufacturing firm however does not agree with the verdict. The company went further to say the state and counties did not present evidence of medically unnecessary prescriptions, suspicious or diverted orders.

In a statement, the company said, “Teva Pharmaceuticals strongly disagrees with today’s outcome and will prepare for a swift appeal as well as continue to pursue a mistrial.”

According to the company, a lawyer for the state cited an inaccurate statistic about opioid prescriptions in his closing argument.

It also said that its opioid sales complied with federal and New York state regulations. The jury found the state partly to blame, assigning it 10% responsibility.

The verdict is a setback for the company that is still facing thousands of other opioid-related lawsuits around the United States.

If the verdict stands, it could put pressure on Teva to reach a nationwide settlement with other states and local governments over opioid claims.

The Isreal-based drug maker, in a similar case had prevailed in a lawsuit brought by several counties when a California judge on November 2 ruled that it and other drugmakers were not liable.

Teva shares, following the indictment fell more than 7 percentage points in New York. In afternoon trading they were down 40 cents, or 4.7%, at $8.03.


Author: Greg