Ohio sues five drug firms, saying they fueled opioid crisis
The state of Ohio filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against five drug companies, accusing them of conducting marketing campaigns that misled doctors and patients about the danger of addiction and overdose.
The state of Ohio filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against five drug companies, accusing them of conducting marketing campaigns that misled doctors and patients about the danger of addiction and overdose. The complaint—filed by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine—targets parent companies and various subsidiaries, including Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Allergan, and Endo International's Endo Health Solutions unit. J&J denied the allegations. The other companies either declined to comment or said officials were reviewing the allegations. Dewine said at a news conference that the companies were dishonest with doctors and the public about opioid analgesics' risks. "The evidence is going to show they knew what they were saying was not true and they did it to increase sales," he asserted. DeWine said the lawsuit is among the most comprehensive taken by any state against a broad group of opioid analgesic makers. He said the only other similar lawsuit was filed by Mississippi in state court in December 2015, alleging similar wrongdoing against the same five companies. That suit is pending. Ohio is seeking an injunction to stop the companies from their "misrepresentations" of the drugs' risks, and civil penalties to compensate the state for the costs tied to the addiction crisis. Because the lawsuit was filed in state court, other states cannot join the suit as plaintiffs.