Teva & Cephalon Try to Prevent Release of Internal Marketing Plan for Fentora - an Opioid Drug | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

One of the drug companies being sued by the City of Chicago over allegations of deceptive marketing followed a federal judge’s advice this week and went to state court to try to stop the city from releasing documents to a USA Today reporter who filed Freedom of Information Act requests.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and its subsidiary, Cephalon Inc., filed a complaint for injunctive relief Wednesday in the Cook County Circuit Court, alleging an anticipatory breach of the confidentiality agreement Teva signed before complying with the city’s investigative subpoena.

In June, the city sued Teva and Cephalon, as well as Purdue Pharma LP, Purdue Pharma Inc., The Purdue Frederick Company Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., Endo Health Solutions Inc. and Actavis PLC over claims they deceptively marketed their opioid painkillers.

The suit was filed in state court, but removed to Chicago’s federal court, where just earlier this month a judge denied two of defendant drug companies’ request for a protective order stemming from the same documents at issue in the recently-filed circuit court complaint.

U.S. District Judge Elaine E. Bucklo, in an Oct. 10 opinion, suggested that Cephalon take its issue over the FOIA requests to state court under a breach of contract claim, a dispute “completely collateral” to the federal litigation she is presiding over.

Bucklo explained federal rules didn’t allow her to enter a protective order because USA Today wasn’t seeking discovery materials, adding that the drug companies, “[i]n their eagerness to litigate disputed questions of state law,” were “attempting to stretch Rule 26c,” the federal rule governing protective orders “beyond its plain language.”

In their complaint filed this week in state court, Teva and Cephalon point to the confidentiality agreement to urge a judge to block the city’s release of a 198-page internal marketing plan for Fentora, a drug Cephalon makes and sells.

USA Today reporter Peter Eisler filed a FOIA request with the city in July, seeking documents referenced in its lawsuit against the drug companies. The city informed Teva on Oct. 15 that intends to fulfill Eisler’s request and give him the marketing plan.

Teva alleges it gave the city its marketing plan, as well as more than 127,000 other documents, in response to an investigative subpoena that sought confidential and trade secret information about Fentora and other drugs over a span of more than six years.