A California judge ruled this week that four pharmaceutical companies cannot be held liable for the state’s opioid crisis, NPR reports.
Four California counties had sued the companies, alleging they used false and misleading marketing to increase prescription opioid sales. The counties had hoped the suit would result in tens of billions of dollars in funding to address the opioid crisis.
The companies — Allergan, Endo, Johnson & Johnson and Teva — denied any wrongdoing. The article notes the ruling is a significant win for the pharmaceutical industry.
Orange County Superior Court Judge Peter Wilson wrote, “There is simply no evidence to show that the rise in prescriptions was not the result of the medically appropriate provision of pain medications to patients in need,” the Associated Press reports. “Any adverse downstream consequences flowing from medically appropriate prescriptions cannot constitute an actionable public nuisance.”