California counties at trial argue J&J, different drugmakers fueled opioid epidemic By Reuters

3/3 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Teva Pharmaceutical Industries constructing is seen in Jerusalem 2/3 By Nate Raymond and Brendan Pierson (Reuters) -4 drugmakers helped trigger the lethal U.S. opioid epidemic by deceptively advertising their medicine and downplaying their addictive dangers, a lawyer for a number of California counties argued on Monday in the beginning


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Teva Pharmaceutical Industries constructing is seen in Jerusalem

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By Nate Raymond and Brendan Pierson

(Reuters) -4 drugmakers helped trigger the lethal U.S. opioid epidemic by deceptively advertising their medicine and downplaying their addictive dangers, a lawyer for a number of California counties argued on Monday in the beginning of closely-watched trial.

Fidelma Fitzpatrick, the lawyer, instructed a California decide that Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:), Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (NYSE:) Ltd, Endo Worldwide (NASDAQ:) PLC and AbbVie (NYSE:)’s Allergan (NYSE:) unit wanted to be held chargeable for a drug disaster that solely acquired worse in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Teva’s lawyer, David Collie, countered that the 2 medicine linked to his shopper had solely ever made up a “minuscule” a part of the market, and that medical doctors and sufferers had been totally warned of the dangers. Teva had acquired the medicine accredited for breakthrough ache in most cancers sufferers already on opioids with its buy of Cephalon.

The opposite drug corporations are anticipated to make their opening statements later within the day.

The plaintiffs – the populous Santa Clara, Los Angeles and Orange counties and town of Oakland – say the drugmakers ought to need to pay greater than $50 billion to cowl the prices of abating the general public nuisance they created, plus penalties.

Fitzpatrick instructed Orange County Superior Courtroom Decide Peter Wilson that the case was in regards to the corporations’ “lethal legacy” of making an attempt to spice up their income by selling opioid painkillers to deal with persistent ache, leading to a “mountain” of addictive tablets flooding the state and nation.

“The proof will present every of those corporations, all of them, knew what would occur: that their opioids would trigger the crushing burden of habit, overdose and dying that California and its individuals have skilled,” she stated.

Collie stated the counties’ case was primarily based on “suggestion and hypothesis.”

“You will not hear from a single physician who was ever misled,” he stated.

Opioids have resulted within the overdose deaths of almost 500,000 individuals from 1999 to 2019 in the USA, in line with U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.

Greater than 3,300 related lawsuits are pending nationally over the opioid disaster. The one different case to go to trial within the opioid litigation resulted within the state of Oklahoma in 2019 successful a $465 million judgment in opposition to J&J, which is interesting.

Different circumstances are slated to go to trial within the coming months, creating new stress for the businesses to achieve settlements.

The nation’s three largest drug distributors – McKesson Corp (NYSE:), AmerisourceBergen (NYSE:) Corp and Cardinal Well being Inc (NYSE:) – and J&J have proposed paying a mixed $26 billion to resolve the circumstances in opposition to them. The proposed deal has not been finalized.

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