Allergan sues Pfizer over costs related to opioid lawsuits

Allergan filed a lawsuit against Pfizer Aug. 2 that would require the company to cover damages associated with several lawsuits brought against Allergan that allege it improperly marketed and sold an opioid that Allergan had acquired from a company Pfizer bought in 2010, according to Reuters.

Allergan claims that Kadian, a form of morphine, was marketed and sold using deceptive practices prior to it obtaining the rights to the drug in 2008. Allergan Finance, the subsidiary that filed the lawsuit, said it is facing "more than a thousand lawsuits" that would "impose liability for that very marketing and sale," and argued Pfizer hasn't taken any responsibility in a statement to Reuters.

Pfizer, however, said Allergan's claims relate to a drug it never sold. Pfizer pointed to a contract it struck with Kadian manufacturer King Pharmaceuticals, a drugmaker Pfizer acquired in 2010.

A separate pharmaceutical company, Alpharma, owned Kadian until King acquired Alpharma in 2008. That same year, King sold the rights to the opioid to Actavis, which acquired Allergan in 2016 and took its name.

According to Allegran's complaint, many of the opioid-related lawsuits brought against the company concern its alleged role in the opioid epidemic, specifically the way it marketed Kadian. Other allegations date back to the mid-1990s.

Allergan argues that the terms of the agreement between Actavis and King signed in 2008 required King — and thereby Pfizer — to indemnify any damages associated with pre-2009 marketing of Kadian. Allergan, though, claims Pfizer rejected this reading of the agreement.

The lawsuit was filed in a federal court in Cleveland.

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