OH attorney general sues 5 drugmakers over opiate crisis
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 31, 2017,
May 31, 2017, 23:55
The suit seeks to hold the companies accountable for harm to patients by blocking the drugs' allegedly deceptive marketing, as well as awarding compensation for the state and for consumers.
"They knew they were wrong but they did it anyway".
In March, attorneys representing two West Virginia counties filed federal lawsuits against drug distributors, including AmerisourceBergen, McKesson and Cardinal Health, accusing companies of violating West Virginia law and threatening public health for distributing huge amounts of opioids in the state.
DeWine said the problem is how addicted Ohio's residents are getting to these drugs. Stephanson said "Purdue's drive for profit" directly fueled opioid addictions in the community and the rising rate of heroin abuse. She said she's hopeful the OH lawsuit can begin to curtail the epidemic by fighting it "from the top". "They're going to the doctor for a torn ligament in their shoulder, or migraines, or having a tooth pulled".
A drugmaker accused by the OH attorney general of improper promotion of opiates says his lawsuit is legally and factually unfounded.
Janssen Pharmaceuticals says it acted appropriately, responsibly and in the best interests of patients.
In a statement, a spokesman for Purdue Pharma, which manufactures OxyContin, said the company shares the attorney general's concerns about the opioid crisis and that it is "committed to working collaboratively to find solutions". It won't say if it's challenging the lawsuit.
Allergan and Teva declined to comment.
Messages were left with Endo Health Solutions and Allergan.
DeWine, a Republican expected to run for governor next year, joins other states that have filed similar lawsuits.
Democratic candidate Nan Whaley, the Dayton mayor, is airing online video spots in which she criticizes sitting Republicans for doing too little to solve the heroin and opioid epidemic.
"Opioids have become the main source of unintentional drug overdose in the state", the suit contends. Joe Schiavoni, said he had previously called for such an action.
Generally, the victims were killed by heroin cut with fentanyl, a powerful painkiller smuggled into the country from Mexico and China that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says is 25 to 50 times more powerful than heroin and packs 50 to 100 times more punch than morphine. It was also among 27 states that reached a settlement with Purdue, the maker of OxyContin, in 2007.