Ohio AG Files Lawsuit Against Opioid Manufacturers
Alleges drug companies engaged in fraudulent marketing
(May 31, 2017) Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today filed a lawsuit against five leading prescription opioid manufacturers and their related companies in Ross County Court of Common Pleas. The lawsuit alleges that the drug companies engaged in fraudulent marketing regarding the risks and benefits of prescription opioids which fueled Ohio's opioid epidemic.
The five manufacturers which are listed as defendants include:
- Purdue Pharma, which sold OxyContin, MS Contin, Dilaudid, Butrans, Hyslingla, and Targiniq
- Endo Health Solutions, which sold Percocet, Percodan, Opana, and Zydone
- Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and its subsidiary Cephalon, which sold Actiq and Fentora
- Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, which sold Duragesic and Nucynta
- Allergan, which sold Kadian, Norco, and several generic opioids
The lawsuit alleges, among several counts, that the drug companies violated the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act and created a public nuisance by disseminating false and misleading statements about the risks and benefits of opioids. This false marketing included medical journal advertising, sales representative statements, and the use of front groups to deliver information which downplayed the risks and inflated the benefits of certain formulations of opioids. This behavior proliferated the prescription of opioids and fueled the opioid epidemic Ohio is currently facing.
The lawsuit seeks the following remedies:
- A declaration that the companies’ actions were illegal
- An injunction to stop their continued deceptions and misrepresentations and to abate the harm they have caused
- Damages for the money that the State spent on the opioids that these companies sold and marketed in Ohio and for other costs of their deceptive acts
- Repayment to consumers who, like the State, paid for unnecessary opioid prescriptions for chronic pain.