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Home / Health / Ohio AG sues pharma corporations over their function within the opioid epidemic

Ohio AG sues pharma corporations over their function within the opioid epidemic

Ohio Lawyer Normal Mike DeWine is suing 5 makers of opioid painkillers for his or her function within the state’s opioid epidemic.

The swimsuit, which DeWine stated is the second by a U.S. state, after Mississippi, claims the drugmakers violated a number of state legal guidelines, together with the Ohio Corrupt Practices Act, and dedicated Medicaid fraud.

Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen Prescription drugs unit, Teva Prescription drugs and its Cephalon unit, Endo Well being Options and Allergan are all named within the swimsuit.

“In 2014 alone, pharmaceutical corporations spent $168 million by means of gross sales reps peddling prescription opioids to win over docs with clean pitches and shiny brochures that downplayed the dangers” of the medicines,” DeWine stated at a press convention Wednesday. Final 12 months, he stated, 2.three million folks in Ohio, or a couple of fifth of the state’s inhabitants, have been prescribed opioids.

In an announcement, a spokesman for Purdue Pharma, which manufactures OxyContin, stated the corporate shares the lawyer normal’s issues in regards to the opioid disaster and that it’s “dedicated to working collaboratively to search out options.”

“OxyContin accounts for lower than 2% of the opioid analgesic prescription market nationally, however we’re an business chief within the improvement of abuse-deterrent know-how, advocating for using prescription drug monitoring packages and supporting entry to Naloxone — all vital elements for combating the opioid disaster,” he stated.

Allergan declined to remark, as did a Teva spokeswoman, who stated, “We now have not accomplished assessment of the criticism.”

J&J’s Janssen unit stated the corporate believed the allegations within the lawsuit have been “each legally and factually unfounded.”

“Janssen has acted appropriately, responsibly and in one of the best pursuits of sufferers relating to our opioid ache drugs, that are FDA-approved and carry FDA-mandated warnings in regards to the identified dangers of the drugs on each product label,” stated Jessica Castles Smith, a Janssen spokeswoman.

Endo officers weren’t instantly accessible to remark.

The Ohio motion follows fits from counties and cities in search of to carry accountable the business that produces, markets and distributes opioid painkillers. DeWine stated the Ohio swimsuit, filed Wednesday morning in Ross County, “would compel these corporations to scrub up this mess by means of a number of cures,” together with an injunction to cease “continued deception and misrepresentation in advertising and marketing,” damages paid to the state for cash spent on the disaster, and compensation to shoppers.

Gross sales of prescribed opioids — together with oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone — virtually quadrupled within the U.S. between 1999 and 2015, in response to the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, contributing to a greater than quadrupling of deaths from prescription opioids in that very same interval. Virtually 2 million People both abused or have been depending on prescription opioid painkillers in 2014, in response to the CDC.

In March, attorneys representing two West Virginia counties filed federal lawsuits towards drug distributors, together with AmerisourceBergen, McKesson and Cardinal Well being, accusing corporations of violating West Virginia legislation and threatening public well being for distributing big quantities of opioids within the state.

The town of Everett, Washington, sued Purdue Pharma earlier this 12 months, accusing the drugmaker of gross negligence and in search of cost for the prices of dealing with opioid habit.

And three counties in New York sued pharmaceutical corporations together with Purdue, Johnson & Johnson, Teva and Endo in February, additionally in search of damages.

Ohio and West Virginia are among the many states hardest hit by the opioid epidemic. The disaster has been named by new Meals and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb as a prime precedence.

“We perceive what we’re taking up: 5 big drug corporations,” DeWine instructed reporters Wednesday. “I do not need to look again 10 years from now and say we must always have had the center to file. … It is one thing we have now to do.”

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