Four California counties filed the lawsuit in 2014, alleging that Allergan, Endo International, Johnson & Johnson and Teva Pharmaceuticals used misleading marketing to increase prescription opioid sales. The drug companies denied any wrongdoing.
The counties were seeking settlements totaling more than $50 billion, which would have supported various public health and drug treatment programs in the state.
In his ruling, Judge Peter Wilson said the plaintiffs failed to provide evidence showing a direct link between drugmakers’ marketing efforts and an increase in illicit use of prescription painkillers.
The ruling marks a significant win for the drug industry, NPR reported, which is facing numerous opioid lawsuits filed by counties, cities and states across the U.S.