🏛️ New York Says Guilty
Count it another win for those trying to hold Big Pharma accountable. A jury in suburban Suffolk County, New York, has found Teva Pharmaceuticals guilty of public nuisance for its role in the ongoing opioid crisis. The case was made by the state against several pharmaceutical firms, but all except Teva settled out of court for a combined total of $1.5 billion.
According to the suit, Teva manufactured two generic brands of fentanyl pills that it then pushed in a "deceptive and dangerous marketing strategy," notes NPR.
Following the guilty verdict, Letitia James, New York State's attorney general, announced that her office will begin seeking monetary damages from Teva immediately.
"The plaintiffs presented no evidence of medically unnecessary prescriptions, suspicious or diverted orders, no evidence of oversupply" Teva said in a statement after the verdict.
A Winning Strategy
This case is one of thousands across the country attempting to hold pharmaceutical makers responsible for the opioid crisis that has killed at least 500,000 Americans over the last two decades. However, it is only the second time that the Public Nuisance strategy has ended with a conviction.
Two guilty verdicts from two separate juries gives hope to the "public nuisance" strategy. And though billions in settlements is no substitute for the lives lost, it may help bring an end to the opioid crisis.