19 Jan, 2022

NY Jury Finds Teva Contributed to Opioid Crisis in Suffolk and Nassau Counties

Posted by : Ed Lott, Ph.D., M.B.A.

On December 30, after a six months-long trial, a New York jury found that Teva Pharmaceuticals contributed to the opioid crisis by creating a public nuisance in Suffolk and Nassau counties and New York State. Attributing 90% of the liability to Teva and its Anda Inc. unit and 10% to New York State, the jury determined that by minimizing the risks of opioid addiction, pushing opioids for unapproved uses and flooding the market with painkillers, and skirting internal safeguards established to prevent the excessive distribution of the drugs, Teva added to the ongoing opioid crisis in the counties.  Although Teva is best known as a manufacturer of generic drugs, the trial focused on two of the company’s fentanyl drugs, Actiq and Fentora, that are used to treat some cancer cases.  In seeking redress for the public nuisance created by the drug manufacturers, the state and counties claimed that the opioid crisis has cost them hundreds of millions of dollars in addiction treatment bills, emergency services, and drug rehabilitation expenses.  According to information maintained by the Centers for Disease Control, in 2019, opioid overdose deaths climbed above 1,600 in Nassau County and rose above 3,000 in Suffolk County. The state also argued that between 2010 and 2018 the rate of opioid-caused overdose deaths doubled.

When the trial started in August there were more than two dozen defendants most of whom settled out of court or were excised from the proceedings;

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