Teva wins opioids case in California court

Teva  credit: Shutterstock
Teva credit: Shutterstock

The $50 billion lawsuit was filed by four California counties against Teva and other companies. Over 3,300 cases are still outstanding in the opioids affair.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) has recorded a success in one of the many legal proceedings currently underway in the US in connections with opioid pain relievers. Orange County, California, Superior Court Judge Peter Wilson has found that Teva did not cause a public nuisance in Orange County, Los Angeles County, Santa Clara County and the City of Oakland and that Teva did not make any false or misleading statements in connection with marketing prescription opioids in California.

Teva's share price is up nearly 5% on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange this morning.

The $50 billion lawsuit was filed by four counties in California against several drug companies, Teva among them. The claim was that the companies had marketed addictive pain relieving drugs. Many cases concerning the opioids affair are now before courts in the US, and although Teva reached a settlement agreement two years ago that was meant to have ended all the various lawsuits against it, the agreement has not so far been signed.

In a conference call after the release of Teva's third quarter financials last week, company CEO Kare Schultz said that there was currently no change in the talks on a compromise, and that it was a complicated process in which many sides were involved. He said that he was optimistic about the prospect of Teva reaching a compromise within the next twelve months. Teva recently announced an agreement whereby it is paying $15 million to the state of Louisiana to end proceedings there.

The current decision represents a first legal victory for the drug companies in over 3,300 lawsuits filed against them by states and counties throughout the US. In the California case, the counties claimed that the companies' aggressive marketing included exaggerated claims about the efficacy and the risks of using their painkillers. As a result, the counties claimed, they opioid addiction crisis worsened, causing the deaths of half a million Americans over two decades.

The judge found that no evidence had been produced to demonstrate that the rise in the number of prescriptions for painkillers was not a result of the provision of a medicinal response to patients' needs.

The ruling comes at a time when Johnson & Johnson and three other pharmaceuticals companies are in the final stages of negotiations on a settlement under which they will pay $26 billion in compensation to people harmed by the use of opioid drugs.

In response to the California ruling, Teva said in a statement: "While we are pleased that the Court in California made this determination, a clear win for the many patients in the US who suffer from opioid addiction will only come when comprehensive settlements are finalized and resources are made available to all who need them. Teva continues to pursue a national settlement framework as well as to support the business of Teva, which remains dedicated to providing uninterrupted access to affordable medicines throughout the world."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on November 2, 2021.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2021.

Teva  credit: Shutterstock
Teva credit: Shutterstock
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