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Teva Settles Most|Hepatitis C Cases

LAS VEGAS (CN) - Teva Pharmaceutical Industries agreed to pay $250 million to settle all but 15 lawsuits accusing the company of selling large vials of Propofol to doctors that spread hepatitis C, wire services report.

Teva confirmed the settlement of more than 80 lawsuits, but did not say how much it will pay.

The agreement would end claims from Las Vegas residents who said the pharmaceutical giant purposefully sold vials that were large enough to be reused.

Also resolved in the deal is a May 2010 case that caused a jury to award more than $500 million against the world's largest maker of generic medicine. In that case, a school principal alleged he got hepatitis C during a colonoscopy in which doctors reused a vial of Propofol.

"Teva is pleased to have the vast majority of these matters behind us," company spokeswoman Denise Bradley told Bloomberg News Service in an e-mail.

The Southern Nevada Health District linked cases of hepatitis C to Dr. Dipak Desai's Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada, and notified more than 50,000 former patients to get tested because of allegedly unsafe injection practices.

At least 250 former patients who were infected with hepatitis have sued. Thousands more have filed suit over the stress of being tested for the disease.

In September, Desai was found competent to stand trial on criminal charges. His trial is set for March 12.

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