Ohio Sues 5 Major Drug Companies For ‘Fueling Opioid Epidemic’

Purdue Pharma, that creates OxyContin, shielded a efforts to fight opioid abuse after it was named in a Ohio suit.

Toby Talbot/AP

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Toby Talbot/AP

Purdue Pharma, that creates OxyContin, shielded a efforts to fight opioid abuse after it was named in a Ohio suit.

Toby Talbot/AP

The state of Ohio has sued 5 vital drug manufacturers for their purpose in a opioid epidemic. In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, state Attorney General Mike DeWine alleges these 5 companies “helped unleash a health caring predicament that has had inclusive financial, social, and lethal consequences in a State of Ohio.”

Named in a fit are:

  • Purdue Pharma
  • Endo Health Solutions
  • Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and auxiliary Cephalon
  • Johnson Johnson and auxiliary Janssen Pharmaceuticals
  • Allergan

The lawsuit — usually a second such fit filed by a state, after Mississippi did so progressing this year — accuses a companies of enchanting in a postulated selling debate to downplay a obsession risks of a remedy opioid drugs they sell and to elaborate a advantages of their use for health problems such as ongoing pain.

Or, as DeWine’s bureau put it in a press recover Wednesday, a “lawsuit alleges that a drug companies intent in fake selling per a risks and advantages of remedy opioids that fueled Ohio’s opioid epidemic.”

“We trust that a justification will uncover that these curative companies intentionally misled doctors about a dangers connected with pain meds that they produced, and that they did so for a purpose of augmenting sales,” DeWine tells NPR’s All Things Considered. “And boy, did they boost sales.”

By a late 1990s, DeWine’s fit says, any of a 5 companies had embarked on a warning intrigue targeting doctors, whom a state positions as victims of systematic misinformation:

“Defendants swayed doctors and patients that what they had prolonged famous — that opioids are addictive drugs, vulnerable in many resources for long-term use — was untrue, and utterly a opposite, that a merciful diagnosis of pain required opioids.”

Asked by NPR’s Robert Siegel either doctors had a purpose of their possess in overprescribing potentially dangerous medication, DeWine says some-more error rests with a enlightenment combined by these companies.

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“This was not something that a curative companies only woke adult some day and only started to do a small bit of it,” he says.

“I mean, there was a accordant bid for an extended series of years to unequivocally bruise this into a heads of doctors. And when you’re told something time and time and time again and there’s a lot of promotion that is being spent, yeah, it takes a while to spin that around.”

In a matter supposing to a Cleveland Plain Dealer, a mouthpiece for Janssen, one of a defendants, called a lawsuit “legally and factually unfounded”:

“Janssen has acted appropriately, responsibly and in a best interests of patients per a opioid pain medications, that are FDA-approved and lift FDA-mandated warnings about a famous risks of a drugs on each product label.”

Purdue Pharma, another defendant, told The Plain Dealer that it has been concerned in seeking to fight widespread opioid addiction:

“OxyContin accounts for reduction than 2 percent of a opioid drug remedy marketplace nationally, though we are an attention personality in a growth of abuse-deterrent technology, advocating for a use of remedy drug monitoring programs and ancillary entrance to Naloxone — all critical components for combating a opioid crisis.”

And that predicament shows few signs of fading soon.

As All Things Considered notes, a state of Ohio estimates some 200,000 people within a borders are dependant to opioids — a series roughly a same as Akron’s whole population.

In his recover Wednesday, DeWine says he filed a fit in Ross County for a reason: “Southern Ohio was expected a hardest strike area in a republic by a opioid epidemic.”