Oklahoma Settles Opioid Lawsuit with Teva Pharmaceuticals
Recently, an $85 million settlement between Teva Pharmaceuticals and the state of Oklahoma was signed by Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman. The state maintained that Teva utilized deceptive marketing claims to promote opioids as safe and effective pain relievers while de-emphasizing the addictive properties of the drugs. The funds from the settlement are earmarked to help ease the state’s ongoing opioid crisis.
Just prior to the settlement, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed a bill requiring proceeds recovered by the state from lawsuits such as these to be placed into the state’s treasury. A previous settlement in March 2019 with Purdue Pharma was used to create a research and addiction center at Oklahoma State University.
Johnson & Johnson is currently fighting a similar case against the state. They deny all allegations. There are approximately 2,000 ongoing cases brought by state and local governments in an attempt to hold drug manufacturers accountable for the nationwide opioid epidemic.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 68% of the 70,000 drug-related deaths in 2017 involved opioids. Nearly 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. In Oklahoma alone, there were 388 opioid-related fatalities. Oklahoma healthcare providers wrote 88 prescriptions for opioids per every 100 persons.
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