And so, another working week will soon draw to a close. Not a moment too soon, yes? This is, you may recall, our treasured signal to daydream about weekend plans. We have an exceedingly modest agenda this time around. We hope to escort Mrs. Pharmalot to a rent party, catch up on our reading, take several naps, and promenade with the official mascot. And what about you? This may be an opportunity to stock up on winter gear or plan a holiday getaway. You could make time for someone special or simply take stock of events, such as they are. Well, whatever you do, have a grand time. But be safe. Enjoy, and see you soon.
A New York state judge scheduled what could be the second state-level trial in the U.S. on the impact of the opioid crisis, the Associated Press writes. Judge Jerry Garguilo set a trial date of Jan. 20 for claims brought by the New York State attorney general and the Long Island counties of Nassau and Suffolk against a group of drug manufacturers and distributors. The first federal trial had been scheduled to start in October but was stopped when most of the defendants reached settlements with the two Ohio counties that brought the claims.
Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA) expressed confidence in its ability to continue paying down its $27 billion debt even if it is forced to pay billions of dollars to settle thousands of U.S. opioid lawsuits, Reuters says. Attorneys general of four U.S. states agreed on a proposed deal in which Teva would provide $23 billion worth of generic Suboxone and pay $250 million in cash over 10 years. But the medicine Teva plans to give away will likely cost the company far less than $23 billion based on the way the drug maker plans to account for the value of the treatment.
Public Citizen filed a petition with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration to reclassify Tramadol, an opioid that is used to treat severe pain in adults. The advocacy wants Tramadol designed a Schedule II controlled substance because it is overprescribed, often misused, highly addictive, and potentially deadly — and therefore, contributes to the opioid crisis. Currently, the drug is listed as a Schedule IV drug, which are those with a low potential for abuse and a low risk of dependence.
Plaintiff lawyers in big product liability cases are often complicit in perpetuating the practice of keeping important safety information under wraps, Reuters reports. Their willing participation in a process that hides critical information about potentially harmful and even deadly products prevents consumers from making informed choices and regulators from taking corrective action. This clashes with the image plaintiff lawyers cultivate as champions of transparency, fighting to hold corporate America accountable for making and selling harmful products.