April 25 (Reuters) – Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA.O) and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (TEVA.TA) ignored the health risks when they created new markets for opioids, a lawyer for the city of San Francisco told a judge on Monday during opening statements of the first trial to target manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies over the addictive pain medicines.
Richard Heimann, a lawyer for the city, said on Monday that the prescription drug industry was complicit in expanding the market for opioids, regardless of the public health risks.
Opioids previously had been restricted for use in surgery, cancer treatment and end-of-life care, Heimann said. But the pharmaceutical industry made false claims about the drugs’ safety in order to market the drugs to patients suffering from common and chronic conditions like lower back pain and arthritis, he said.
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“The goal was to create a new market,”…