Teva Pharmaceuticals has Been Implicated in the Opioid Epidemic

Teva Pharmaceuticals Implicated in the Opioid Epidemic

Another drug company has been implicated in the opioid epidemic. A jury in New York ruled that Teva Pharmaceuticals contributed to the crisis, and a trial is coming to determine what Teva owes in the case. Jurors concluded that Teva was a public nuisance with lethal consequences. It contributed to a health crisis with more than 500,000 deaths in the past twenty years. The jury found that Teva misrepresented opioids as safe to use, when we now know they are dangerous and addictive. Teva, based in Israel, makes the powerful drug fentanyl. It disagrees with the verdict and is planning on appealing.

Teva is appealing because it says there is no evidence of medically unnecessary prescriptions, oversupply of drugs, or suspicious orders. Teva also claims there is no evidence that marketing of its products harmed New York citizens. This is not the first company to be sued for the opioid crisis. Lawsuits involving opioid manufacturers have occurred across the country coming from all groups of people like state and local governments, Native American tribes, unions, school districts, and others.

The lawsuit in New York focused on opioid producers and distributors that buy in bulk and sell to pharmacies. Accusers are saying the companies breached their legal duties so they could profit from an epidemic they caused. State and county officials claim the drug manufacturers collaborated to mislead people and minimize the effects of opioids and addiction. They also skirted the systems set in place to limit the amounts of painkillers that could be ordered. The lawsuit focused on Actiq and Entora, two of Teva’s brand name fentanyl drugs made for some cancer patients. It dangerously promoted the drugs for other types of pain, which is illegal.

Teva is the last defendant in the lawsuit since the rest of the defendants settled the case. Similar cases have seen judgements go to both the plaintiffs and defendants. Using state public nuisance laws like the current plaintiffs are doing could help reinvigorate cases against different opioid manufacturers. Some companies have decided to settle out of court including AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, McKesson, Johnson & Johnson, and Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. The collective $30 billion from these companies is going to be used to help fight the crisis. Many of the large deals have not been completed and one judgment has been reversed.

Were you affected by the opioid epidemic? Contact us at 412-471-3980 or fill out our contact form to see if you could be entitled to compensation.

Associated Press, “A jury holds Teva Pharmaceuticals liable in the opioid crisis” NPR (December 31, 2021). [Link]

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