(Reuters) – Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. fueled opioid addiction in New York State, a jury found on Thursday, a setback for a company still facing thousands of other opioid-related lawsuits around the United States.
The verdict, which followed a nearly six-month trial in New York State in a lawsuit brought by the state and two of its counties does not include damages, which will be determined later. The jury considered more than eight days before reaching a verdict.
Teva shares fell 40 cents, or 4.7%, to $ 8.03 in afternoon trading.
New York Attorney Letitia James called the result "a significant one". day "for the state and for" every family and society torn apart by opioids. " Jayne Conroy and Hunter Shkolnik, representing Suffolk and Nassau counties respectively, also hailed it as a "massive victory."
In a statement, the company said: "Teva Pharmaceuticals does not agree with today's results and will prepare for a speedy appeal. and continue to pursue a trial. " It said the state and counties presented "no evidence of medically unnecessary prescriptions, suspects, or derivative orders." including by promoting off-label drugs.
They focused on Actiq and Fentora, anticancer drugs manufactured by Cephalon Inc., a company that Teva bought in 2011, and generic opioids sold by Teva.  The lawsuit in New York is one of more than 3,300 filed by state, local and Native American tribal governments across the country accusing drug manufacturers of minimizing the dependence on opioid pain medications, and distributors and pharmacies ignoring red flags to which they have been redirected. illegal channels.
The judge in the case is still considering a request Teva made for a trial after a state attorney cited an inaccurate statistic about opioid prescriptions in his attire singing argument. If the verdict is upheld, it could put pressure on Teva to reach a nationwide agreement with other states and local authorities on opioid claims.
Teva at the trial attributed an increase in opioid prescriptions to a change in medical standards for care with emphasis on pain treatment beginning. in the 1990s.
It was also stated that its opioid sales complied with federal and state New York rules. The jury found the state partly guilty and awarded it 10% liability.
U.S. Officials have said that by 2019, the health crisis had led to nearly 500,000 opioid deaths in two decades. More than 100,000 people died from drug overdoses during the 12-month period ending April 2021, the U.S. said. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a report in November, a record largely driven by opioid deaths such as fentanyl.