Teva Accused of Minimizing Its Part in Opioid Epidemic

New York’s Attorney General, Letitia James, filed a motion July 11 against Teva Pharmaceuticals that accuses the company of making “significant and intentional misrepresentations to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the court about its involvement with Teva Pharmaceuticals USA (Teva USA) and role in the opioids industry in the United States in order to evade legal action and accountability,” according to a NY AG press release.

James’ motion says that new evidence, which was uncovered by the office of the Attorney General, has come to light which demonstrates that Israel-based Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries was the primary decision maker for Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, which makes medications that contain the powerfully-addictive opioid drug fentanyl.

Contrary to a sworn affidavit in which the parent Teva company claims it did not transact business in the United States nor hold property in the United States, nor was involved in the decision making of its opioids business in the USA, the New York Attorney General’s Office claims that the parent Teva company exerted control over its USA-based entity’s finances.

The motion accuses the Teva parent company of using “a complex web of shell corporations to transfer significant funds out of Teva USA and into offshore accounts it owns and controls.

AG James says that for these reasons, the Teva parent company should not have been dismissed in December 2019 from New York’s opioid litigation.

James has reached nearly $540 million of opioid settlements with four drugmakers, including Johnson & Johnson and nearly $1.2 billion of settlements with the nation’s three largest drug distributors, AmerisourceBergen Corp, Cardinal Health Inc. and McKesson Corp.

Teva’s parent company was accused by James and two counties in the state for misleading marketing for opioids, including by pushing them for off-label use, according to Reuters.

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