Drug companies hit with punitive damages

A jury has decided Teva Parenteral Medicines and Baxter Healthcare Corp. must pay a combined $500 million in punitive damages in a case involving a hepatitis C outbreak in Las Vegas.

The case, expected to be just the first of hundreds, alleged that the re-use of vials of the anesthetic propofol infected patients with the disease.

An attorney for former patient Henry Chanin said the vials provided by the companies were larger than necessary, while “drug company lawyers have maintained that the vials were marked with instructions and warnings, and medical professionals decided what sizes were appropriate.”


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