State of OH sues Big Pharma for downplaying risks of powerful painkillers

Beth Harwell

Beth Harwell

DeWine is seeking public acknowledgment of culpability from the drug makers, an injunction against further dissemination of allegedly deceitful marketing materials, damages for money spent by the state of OH on both the opioids and their addictive fallout, and reimbursement to consumers who were led to believe the pills in question would relieve chronic pain.

The state of OH 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.

Along with naming Purdue Pharma, which sold OxyContin, the lawsuit names Endo Health Solutions; Allegran; Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and its subsidiary Cephalon; and Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Although the state has cracked down on prescribing the drugs, DeWine said, they were and are a gateway to more risky heroin and fentanyl, street drugs now responsible for most opioid overdoses.

The companies need to take responsibility for the opiate addiction crisis in Ohio, DeWine said.

Janssen Pharmaceuticals says it acted appropriately, responsibly and in the best interests of patients.

In the lawsuit, DeWine said 2.3 million people in the state were prescribed opioids past year leading to heroin abuse. The Associated Press reported that in 2015, the latest data available, a record 3,050 people died from drug overdoses in Ohio.

AG DeWine also says the defendant drug companies exaggerated the effectiveness of screening tools to detect and prevent addiction in chronic pain patients.

The Trump administration's proposed budget would virtually destroy funding for the Office of National Drug Control Policy - an agency fighting addiction - despite the President's pledge to fight the opioid crisis.

Texas GOP Rep Calls ICE On Protesters, Threatens To Shoot Colleague
That set off pushing and shoving among lawmakers on the floor. "This demonstrates the sentiment of the Republican party", Democratic Rep.

MS was the first, with more states expected to follow.

OH is among the first states to sue drug companies in the middle of a growing national battle with opioid addiction and overdose deaths, with OH at the epicenter.

DeWine filed suit against the five drug companies, saying they deceived doctors and Ohioans about how addictive their painkillers are.

Teva said it is reviewing the complaint and didn't have an immediate comment.

DeWine, a Republican expected to run for governor next year, joins other states that have filed similar lawsuits in the past.

Purdue officials declined to comment on the lawsuit's allegations, but they issued a general statement in response to the litigation.

OH joins the state of MS in attempting to hold drug makers accountable for their role in the spread of opioid abuse.

"Opioids aren't tobacco", James Tierney, a former ME attorney general who worked with tobacco companies in the 1990s, told The Wall Street Journal. Last week, Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Boardman sent DeWine a letter asking him to seek damages to pay for addiction treatment. Kentucky settled a lawsuit with Purdue in 2015, while a group of 27 states did so with Purdue as well in 2007.

Recommended News

  • Wanted man, bounty hunters kill each other in shootout at dealership

    An investigation is underway after a fugitive wanted in Minnesota shot and killed three people at a Nissan dealership on Tuesday. Instead, bounty hunters are often doing their jobs on the phone at their desks, using various websites to locate fugitives.

    Pelosi says Paris pact pullout 'grave threat'

    Withdrawing would leave the United States aligned only with Russian Federation among the world's industrialized economies. But Trump, pushing a renewed commitment to fossil fuels, heavily criticized the agreement throughout the 2016 campaign.

    Pentagon to test new anti-missile system

    Navy ships would detect the missile launch from the hostile party. Davis played down the need for a successful test ahead of time. Times , Tuesday's test included two missile launches.
  • Israel disappointed at Trump's decision not to move U.S. embassy

    Abbas, for his part, assured Trump that "we are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace". The pro-Western kingdom had warned that such a move was a "red line" that it would bolster extremists if crossed.
    Russia fires cruise missiles, targets ISIS positions in Syria

    Russia fires cruise missiles, targets ISIS positions in Syria

    Russian military says its warships in Mediterranean fired 4 cruise missiles at Islamic State group's positions in Syria. The city lays on a critical highway between Syria's capital city, Damascus, and the Islamic State's capital, Raqqa.

    Rafael Nadal Defeats Robin Haase in 2nd Round of 2017 French Open

    As often in Paris , Djokovic spoke in French during his on-court interview, and joked. "I am very, very happy", Jabeur said. The Spaniard lost the opening set against the 53rd-ranked Estonian Anett Kontaveit but held on to win 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-2.
  • Trump to announce decision on climate change Thursday

    Trump to announce decision on climate change Thursday

    During the presidential race, Trump said that he plans to withdraw from the agreement, claiming that it harms America's economy. Senior adviser Jared Kushner generally thinks the deal is bad but still would like to see if emissions targets can be changed.

    Donald Trump blamed for climate chat grinding to halt

    Trump has repeatedly expressed doubts about climate change, at times calling it a hoax to weaken USA industry. The European Union and China indicated they would press ahead with the deal, regardless of USA participation.

    Kabul Car Bombing Kills At Least 80 People, Injures Hundreds More

    What happened today is definitely a tragic and a huge attack, but this is not the only attack which happens in this country. She told reporters that the Chinese government will be assessing the situation and considering additional safety measures.
  • Nest wants your home security camera to recognize you

    Nest wants your home security camera to recognize you

    After identifying a new face, the camera will send you a Person Alert , and you can then save a familiar face within the app. This will be Nest's first device to draw upon the same human-like skills that Google has been programming into its computers.

    Jeremy Corbyn to take part in live TV debate despite May boycott

    It's the direct head-to-head debate with Jeremy Corbyn that she, just like David Cameron in 2015, has refused to take part in. Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood will have the first comments, while Rudd will close.
    Sixers eye talented player who fits well with No. 3 pick

    Sixers eye talented player who fits well with No. 3 pick

    They had the best chance of being awarded the first pick at 25%, but unfortunately for them, they no longer own that pick. Now that the lottery results are in, we will take a peak and detail what the Kings do moving forward.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.