A pharmaceutical company is asking a judge to block the City of Chicago from fulfilling a Freedom of Information Act request seeking records of the city’s investigation into the company’s marketing of painkillers.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries filed a complaint Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court seeking an injunction against the city.
In March 2014, the city retained a private law firm to subpoena records concerning the marketing and sales of painkillers by one of Teva’s subsidiaries, Cephalon, Inc. Before complying with the subpoena, Teva and the city first entered into a confidentiality agreement, with the records to be turned over on the condition that they would not be made public because they would reveal trade secrets, according to Teva’s filing.
“The Confidentiality Agreement permits Teva to designate documents as ‘Confidential’ or ‘Protected,’ and provides that these documents ‘shall be held in confidence and not be made known,’” according to the complaint.
Teva produced a total of 127,386 pages of documents to the city, with “a number” designated “Confidential” or “Protected.” Additionally, the company provided a 198-page marketing plan for the drug in question, Fentora, the complaint said.
On July 30, USA Today investigative reporter Peter Eisler filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the city’s Law Department seeking records of Cephalon’s 2007 marketing plan for a painkiller aimed at adults with cancer, according to city records.
Despite the confidentiality agreement, the city told Teva that it planned to “imminently” turn over the company’s marketing plan to Eisler, the complaint said.
“We are reviewing the filing and will take appropriate follow-up actions,” said city Department of Law spokesman John Holden.
Teva’s complaint claims anticipatory breach of contract and asks a judge to halt the city from turning over the requested records.