Teva Pharmaceuticals has been sued by the City of Chicago for its prescription pain killers.
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The Israeli pharmaceutical giant Teva is once again the target of a governmental civil suit in the United States for its promotion of addictive pain killers. This time it is the City of Chicago which is seeking damages.
According to the accusation, Teva and four other major pharmaceutical companies encouraged the wider use of prescription pain killers for minor injuries and pains, this in spite of the fact that they knew how addictive their products were. Chicago has accused the five companies of conspiracy, fraud and violations of its local laws.
Chicago, America’s third largest city, is seeking reparations for the costs of dealing with more than half a million opioid pain killers so strong that such drugs have been dubbed “artificial heroine.” Abuse of these drugs, it is claimed, has led some users to also become addicted to heroin.
Different states in America have different policies when it comes to medical treatments. In some areas, a larger number of people can qualify for government payment when it comes to prescription medications.
While the amount of damages sought has not yet been specified, the suit claims that, “Since 2007, the city has paid for nearly 400, 000 claims for opioid prescription fills, costing nearly $9, 500, 000, and suffered additional damages for the costs of providing and using opiates long-term to treat chronic non-cancer pain.”
As with a previous and similar suit brought in California, the drug manufacturers have been accused of misleading the public as to the risks involved with their opioid medications.
Teva produces the generic pain killer Actiq. It is being sued together with Purdue Pharma which makes OxyContin, Endo Health Solutions which produce Percocet, Johnson & Johnson which makes Duragesic, and Activis.
The five companies were sued only last month by the two California counties, Orange and Santa Clara. In that suit, however, the counties are seeking damages for the costs of dealing with local drug addiction and not a reimbursement for the costs of the medications themselves.
It remains to be seen if any such law suits will be allowed by the courts. The companies will argue that they operate in accordance with all of America’s Federal laws and regulations of its Food and Drug Administration. As such, they can be expected to claim that local American governments do not have jurisdiction to bring such suits.
First the local courts will have to decide the issue of jurisdiction. If they allow the law suits to go forward, the five companies can be expected to appeal to the US federal courts.
Based in Petah Tikva Israel, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd is an international company which specializes in generic and proprietary pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients. It is the largest generic drug manufacturer in the world and one of the 15 largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.
Teva has factories in four continents and is traded on both the NYSE and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Teva means nature in Hebrew.