An Israeli multinational pharmaceutical company has been found guilty by an American jury of fueling the deadly drug crisis in New York City. A lawsuit filed by the state’s attorney general in 2019 accused Teva and other companies of aggressively marketing pain relievers statewide, while doing nothing to minimize the addiction.
The lawsuit accused Teva and its subsidiaries of downplaying the risk of drug dependence, marketing opioids for unapproved purposes, and violating internal safeguards designed to prevent drugs from flooding the market. The lawsuit also accused pharmaceutical companies of failing to meet their legal obligations “to profit from the plague they knew was brewing,” referring to the coronavirus pandemic.
In yesterday’s verdict, a statement from the New York State Attorney General said the jury found the company and its subsidiaries responsible for “death and destruction” across the United States, the United States reported. BBC. The Israeli pharmaceutical company has been accused of playing a role in what is legally known as a public nuisance, but the deadly consequences of the drug epidemic are believed to be linked to more than 500,000 deaths in the United States over the years. last two decades.
Teva Pharmaceuticals has been accused of misleading the American people about the real dangers of opioids, according to the attorney general’s statement.
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The six-member jury was asked to determine whether companies had played a role in perpetuating the opioid crisis in New York City. The trial was held on Long Island, where, according to the New York Times, between 2010 and 2018, the rate of overdose deaths involving an opioid more than doubled. In 2019, opioid overdose deaths topped 1,600 in Nassau County and topped 3,000 in Suffolk County, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It is not yet clear how much Teva and its companies will have to pay. “While no amount of money will ever make up for the human suffering, addiction or lives lost due to opioid abuse, we will immediately work to move forward with a trial to determine how much Teva and others will pay, ”Letitia James, the state attorney general, said in a statement.
The money from the settlements should be distributed to communities affected by the opioid epidemic to be used for drug treatment and prevention programs. If certain conditions are met, the combined amount could reach $ 1.5 billion.
Teva announced yesterday that it will appeal the verdict.
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