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Former pharma wholesaler execs face criminal charges over opioid crisis

Image Credit: SHAWN DOWD/@sdowdphoto/

Laurence Doud III, the former CEO of New York-based Rochester Drug Co-operative (RDC) – one of the largest drug distributors in the United States – has been charged with conspiring to distribute illegal narcotics and conspiring to defraud the United States.

The charges against CEO Doud, chief compliance officer William Pietruszewski and the company itself, stand out as the first criminal charges to be filed against a pharma firm in relation to the opioid crisis.  

J&J pay $9.9 million to settle surgical mesh implant case

Healthcare conglomerate Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay $9.9 million to settle a Washington state lawsuit over the firm’s alleged misrepresentation of the risks of pelvic mesh implants.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson sued the New Jersey-based firm in 2016 alleging its subsidiary Ethicon had violated the Consumer Protection Act by failing to tell patients of the risks of pelvic mesh implants.

Sacklers fraudulently transferred funds to dodge litigation, lawsuit says

New York state prosecutors have filed a lawsuit against members of the Sackler family, alleging the Purdue Pharma controllers fraudulently transferred hundreds of millions of dollars into offshore accounts, as part of an effort to protect their funds from litigation.

OxyContin drugmaker Purdue Pharma exploring bankruptcy, sources say

OxyContin drugmaker Purdue Pharma is exploring the option of filing for bankruptcy. The news comes as the Connecticut-based firm faces thousands of lawsuits over allegations the company’s actions contributed to the opioid crisis in the United States.

Speaking to news agency Reuters, people familiar with the matter have said that Purdue are exploring bankruptcy as a means of deflecting more than 1,000 lawsuits related to the company’s role in the opioid epidemic.

$3 million GSK verdict thrown out of court

A $3 million verdict against British multinational GlaxoSmithKline has been thrown out after a US appeals court said that GSK could not be sued over the suicide of an attorney who took a generic version of GSK’s antidepressant medication Paxil.

Top Ten most popular articles on this week

This week’s pharmaceutical headlines were dominated by legal spats as the state of New York sued OxyContin drug maker Purdue Pharma and a Chicago judge overturned a $140 million verdict against AbbVie while Indian biotech owner Nitin Sandesara was detained in Dubai.

New York sues Purdue Pharma over opioid crisis

New York State have sued OxyContin drug maker Purdue Pharma over allegations surrounding widespread fraud and deception in the marketing of opioids.

Officials blamed the privately held pharmaceutical company for its role in fuelling the opioid crisis which has killed tens of thousands across the United States in recent years.

Chicago Judge overturns $140 million AbbVie AndroGel verdict

A US Judge has overturned a $140.1 million verdict against the New York-listed AbbVie Inc.

The verdict, which ruled in favour of a man who claimed the biopharmaceutical firm had misrepresented the risks of its testosterone replacement drug AndroGel, was overturned by US District Judge Matthew Kennelly in Chicago on Thursday.

Insys Therapeutics reaches $150m agreement to settle opioid marketing case

The Arizona-based pharma company Insys Therapeutics has reached an agreement to pay $150 million to the US Department of Justice in order to settle criminal and civil investigations into inappropriate sales and commercial practices by former company employees.

The terms of the agreement call for the opioid drug maker to pay $150 million over five years.  The settlement agreement also covered the potential for an additional $75 million contingency based payments.

Allergan sues Pfizer over opioid crisis lawsuits

Allergan are suing American pharma giant Pfizer over potential damages that they may be forced to pay relating to hundreds of lawsuits that have been filed against them over their alleged role in the opioid crisis.

Allergan, and others such as Purdue Pharma, could be forced make huge pay-outs to resolve lawsuits in which the opioid drug makers have been accused of misleading the public and creating a national health crisis. Allergan have been accused of improperly marketing the opioid painkiller Kadian in allegations dating back to the mid-1990s.

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