(Reuters) – Allergan Plc on Thursday sued Pfizer Inc to power its bigger rival to cowl any damages Allergan is compelled to pay because of lots of of lawsuits claiming it deceptively marketed an opioid acquired from Pfizer.

FILE PHOTO: The Pfizer brand is seen at their world headquarters in New York April 28, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photograph

In a lawsuit filed in federal courtroom in Cleveland, Ohio, Allergan stated the “major foundation” for the claims towards it was the alleged improper advertising and marketing and sale of Kadian, type of morphine, within the years earlier than it gained rights to the painkiller in late 2008.

“However now that greater than a thousand lawsuits search to impose legal responsibility for that very advertising and marketing and sale, Pfizer has rejected any accountability to indemnify Allergan,” alleged Allergan Finance LLC, the subsidiary that filed the lawsuit.

Pfizer didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Opioids have been concerned in additional than 42,000 overdose deaths in 2016, in line with the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.

Drugmakers together with Allergan, Purdue Pharma LP and Endo Worldwide Plc are going through a wave of lawsuits by state and native governments accusing them of pushing addictive painkillers by misleading advertising and marketing.

At the very least 1,021 lawsuits are consolidated earlier than U.S. District Decide Dan Polster in Cleveland, who has scheduled the primary trial for March.

Plaintiffs’ legal professionals pursuing the circumstances have in contrast them with the litigation by states towards the tobacco trade that led to 1998’s $246 billion settlement.

In its criticism, Allergan stated the majority of the lawsuits it faces looking for to carry it answerable for taking part in a task within the opioid disaster primarily relate to improper advertising and marketing of Kadian and contain allegations relationship again to the mid-1990s.

The drug at the moment was owned by Alpharma Inc, which King Prescription drugs acquired in 2008, the identical yr King bought the rights to Kadian to Actavis. In 2016, Actavis acquired Allergan and took on the corporate’s identify.

Sale of rights to Kadian was a situation of successful U.S. antitrust approval for King’s $1.6 billion acquisition of Alpharma. Pfizer acquired King Prescription drugs in 2010.

Allergan argued that Pfizer beneath the phrases of an settlement Actavis signed with King in 2008 was required to indemnify it for any damages arising out of the pre-2009 advertising and marketing and sale of Kadian.

However Allergan stated that Pfizer, which has not been named as a defendant within the overwhelming majority of lawsuits, has rejected its declare for indemnification.

The case is In re Nationwide Prescription Opiate Litigation, U.S. District Court docket, Northern District of Ohio, No. 17-md-2804.

Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; Enhancing by Invoice Berkrot

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