West Virginia is about to go to trial this week in opposition to Johnson & Johnson JNJ.N, Teva Prescription drugs Industries and AbbVie Inc. over claims that the businesses fueled an opioid epidemic within the state.
West Virginia accused the drug producers of making a “public nuisance” by deceiving prescribers in regards to the dangers and advantages of opioid painkillers and of violating the state’s Client Credit score and Safety Act.
The businesses’ advertising efforts triggered opioids to develop into a typical remedy for continual ache in West Virginia, which led to a rise in substance abuse and overdose deaths, based on West Virginia’s grievance.
The businesses have denied the allegations.
Pharmaceutical firm Endo Worldwide Plc ENDP.O, which was a co-defendant within the case, reached a $26 million settlement with West Virginia on March 30.
West Virginia has been arduous hit by the epidemic.
In 2020, the state had a per capita opioid mortality fee of 81.4 overdose deaths per 100,000 individuals, practically thrice the nationwide common of 28.3, based on information from the Nationwide Middle for Well being Statistics.
There have been a wave of latest settlements over corporations’ accountability for the opioid disaster, which has led to greater than 500,000 deaths from overdoses up to now twenty years, based on the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.
Greater than 3,300 lawsuits have been filed in opposition to drugmakers, distributors and pharmacies over the disaster.
Final month, Rhode Island and Florida struck settlements to resolve opioid litigation on the eve of trials. Rhode Island reached a deal valued at $107 million with Teva and Allergen and Florida settled with Teva, CVS, Allergan and Endo for a mixed $878 million.
J&J and the three largest U.S. drug distributors – AmerisourceBergen Corp ABC.N, Cardinal Well being Inc CAH.N and McKesson Corp MCK.N – reached nationwide settlements price $26 billion to resolve state and native authorities opioid claims. West Virginia was one among 5 states that didn’t signal on to the J&J portion of that settlement.
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