As the year ended, cannabis hit some high notes. California companies are demanding lower taxes. Republicans started creating cannabis legislation. Pfizer entered the industry via acquisition. Now, a cannabis pharmaceutical company has been found guilty of its involvement in the opioid crisis. Teva Pharmaceutical USA Inc. recently entered the cannabis industry but a jury found them guilty for misleading the public on the true dangers of opioids in the recent months. The group, however, is appealing as the state of California has not made the same claims about the company.
“The plaintiffs presented no evidence of medically unnecessary prescriptions, suspicious or diverted orders, no evidence of oversupply by the defendants — or any indication of what volumes were appropriate — and no causal relationship between Teva’s conduct including its marketing and any harm to the public in the state.”Teva Pharmaceutical USA Inc., following the guilty verdict
With both Pfizer and Teva’s move into cannabis, concern for the way they handle cannabis is warranted. Teva announced their international distribution deal with Cannabit-Tikun Olam last month. Considering how the rest of the world still sees cannabis, this may create a global conversation around it and the substances it’s wrongfully compared to.
Teva allegedly “breached their legal duties to profiteer from the plague they knew would be unleashed. The state and counties said that drug manufacturers collaborated to mislead people and downplay the serious risks of opioid addiction, and that drug distributors skirted systems meant to limit orders for painkillers.” This claim was in response to two fentanyl drugs that are promoted outside of cancer treatment in a “deceptive and dangerous marketing strategy.”
Only a few companies have had the lawsuit go after them in court; this is despite having named numerous. The States pursuing the matters against opioid producers aren’t as high in number though. With more using cannabis to lessen or stop other treatments over time, the focus on the harm factor is detrimental. Cannabis is supported for the lack of bad side effects as well as not causing addiction. Opioids specifically have crippled communities with it’s direct and indirect effects. If more pharmaceutical companies join the cannabis industry, we’re gonna have to have that candid conversation eventually.