Drugmakers not liable for opioid crisis in California, judge rules

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A California judge on Nov. 1 ruled that four drugmakers cannot be held liable for the state's opioid crisis, according to NPR.

Four California counties filed the lawsuit in 2014, alleging that Allergan, Endo International, Johnson & Johnson and Teva Pharmaceuticals used misleading marketing to increase prescription opioid sales. The drug companies denied any wrongdoing. 

The counties were seeking settlements totaling more than $50 billion, which would have supported various public health and drug treatment programs in the state. 

In his ruling, Judge Peter  Wilson said the plaintiffs failed to provide evidence showing a direct link between drugmakers' marketing efforts and an increase in illicit use of prescription painkillers. 

The ruling marks a significant win for the drug industry, NPR reported, which is facing numerous opioid lawsuits filed by counties, cities and states across the U.S.

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