Oklahoma judge wants more answers on $85M Teva opioid settlement
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Oklahoma judge wants more answers on $85M Teva opioid settlement

Struggling pharmaceutical giant hits another roadblock as it fights off lawsuits related to drug epidemic

A Teva Pharmaceutical Industries building in Kiryat Shmona, northern Israel, December 14, 2017. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)
A Teva Pharmaceutical Industries building in Kiryat Shmona, northern Israel, December 14, 2017. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)

NORMAN, Oklahoma — An Oklahoma judge has declined to approve the state’s proposed $85 million settlement with Israeli-owned Teva Pharmaceuticals until he’s assured it complies with a new law targeting such deals.

The attorney general’s office said Cleveland County Judge Thad Balkman on Monday ordered attorneys for both the state and Teva to file additional paperwork before he approves the settlement.

Attorney General spokesman Alex Gerszewski said the judge wants both sides to address how distribution of the money conforms to the new law.

Concerned about how the state’s $270 million settlement with Purdue Pharmaceuticals was structured, the Republican-led Legislature passed a law directing any settlement funds directly into the state treasury.

Oklahoma’s lawsuit blaming consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson and some of its subsidiaries for contributing to the opioid epidemic is continuing.

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