Teva to stand trial in US opioids affair

Teva Photo: Sivan Faraj

A judge in Oklahoma rejected an attempt by Teva and Johnson & Johnson to have charges against them dismissed.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) has lost its last chance of avoiding trial for its part in the opioid drug addiction epidemic in the US.

Yesterday, a judge in Oklahoma rejected an attempt by Teva and Johnson & Johnson to have the accusations against them dismissed. The two companies will stand trial at the end of this month accused of partly causing the epidemic. Their lawyers had tried to argue that the relevant state law did not apply to sales of painkillers, and that there was insufficient evidence that they had indeed been a cause of the epidemic.

Opioid drugs come under the definition of painkillers based on natural or synthetic materials that have an addictive effect. It is alleged that the two companies marketed such drugs without warning of the possibility of addiction. Teva is exposed to these charges first as the producer of painkillers Fentora and Actiq and generic versions of similar drugs, and also as a distributor, through Anda Inc., the fourth largest generic drug distribution company in the US, which Teva bought from Allergan.

Teva is also at the center of another affair in the US pharmaceuticals market. It is one of the defendants in a lawsuit brought by 44 US states alleging price fixing by generic drug companies. Teva's share price fell by 14.83% in New York yesterday following a similar fall in Tel Aviv. On the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange this morning, the share price is down a further 2%, in a rising market. 

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on May 14, 2019

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019

Teva Photo: Sivan Faraj
Teva Photo: Sivan Faraj
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