Israel’s Teva Pharmaceuticals was found guilty just as 2021 was coming to an end of contributing to America’s opioid crisis. A jury in New York State found that Teva had in fact promoted the use of addictive painkillers.
The verdict by the Suffolk County jury came just before the year 2021 came to an end. The weekend New Year’s holiday meant that world markets had yet to have an opportunity to react financially to the news. But Sunday is not a holiday or day off in Israel and in early trading on the Tel Aviv Stock exchange Teva’s value fell by 5%.
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This puts Teva in the same spot as Purdue Pharma, which was forced to declare bankruptcy and reform as a company. Purdue Pharma, which belonged to the famed Sackler Family, was the manufacturers of prescription narcotic pain reliever Oxycontin. And Oxycontin became synonymous with America’s opioid epidemic and Purdue was found to have “pushed” the drug.
New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a news release “Teva Pharmaceuticals USA and others misled the American people about the true dangers of opioids. Today, we took a significant step in righting the wrongs this country has collectively experienced over the last two decades.”
Teva declared in a statement of its own, “In NY, the plaintiffs presented no evidence of medically unnecessary prescriptions, suspicious or diverted orders, no evidence of oversupply by the defendants – or any indication of what volumes were appropriate – and no causal relationship between Teva’s conduct including its marketing and any harm to the public in the state.
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— Teva Pharmaceuticals (@TevaUSA) December 27, 2021
“Prior to deliberation, Teva sought a mistrial based on, among other issues, the state’s misrepresentation of the amount of opioids sold by Teva in NY by more than 500 times.”
Teva added that it continues to focus on increasing access to essential medicines to patients, including opioid medications for approved indications. “Most importantly, the Company continues to pursue a national settlement in the best interest of patients,” said Teva.