On May 31, 2017, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine filed a lawsuit against five leading prescription opioid manufacturers and their related companies, charging that the drug companies engaged in fraudulent marketing about the risks and benefits of prescription opioids, which misled patients and fueled Ohio’s opioid epidemic.
Specifically, the lawsuit (State of Ohio ex rel. Mike DeWine Ohio Attorney General v. Purdue Pharma, L.P., et al.) states that drug companies “spent, and continue to spend, millions of dollars on promotional activities and materials that falsely deny or trivialize the risks of opioids while overstating the benefits of using them for chronic pain. As to the risks, Defendants falsely and misleadingly, and contrary to the language of their drugs’ labels: (1) downplayed the serious risk of addiction; (2) promoted the concept of “pseudoaddiction” and thus advocated that the signs of addiction should be treated with more opioids; (3) exaggerated the effectiveness of screening tools in preventing addiction; (4) claimed that opioid dependence and withdrawal are easily managed; (5) denied the risks of higher opioid dosages; and (6) exaggerated the effectiveness of “abuse-deterrent” opioid formulations to prevent abuse and addiction. Conversely, Defendants also falsely touted the benefits of long-term opioid use, including the supposed ability of opioids to improve function and quality of life, even though there was no “good evidence” to support Defendants’ claims.”
The lawsuit was filed in the Common Pleas Court in Ross County, Ohio, an area hit hard by the opioid epidemic.
The five manufacturers include:
- Purdue Pharma, which sold OxyContin, MS Contin, Dilaudid/Dilaudid HP, Butrans, Hyslingla ER, and Targiniq ER
- Endo Health Solutions, which sold Percocet, Opana/Opana ER, Percodan, 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 and Nucynta ER
- Allergan, which sold Kadian, Norco, and several generic opioids.
Attorney Pamela A. Borgess, the founder of Borgess Law, LLC, is an experienced trial attorney who focuses on civil litigation, including defective medical drugs/devices, defective consumer products, wrongful death and injury, car and truck accidents, business/contract disputes, and nursing home abuse cases. To speak with Attorney Borgess, call Borgess Law at (567) 455-5955 or toll-free at (844) LAW-9144. You can also contact Borgess Law by submitting an online inquiry. Borgess Law never charges for initial consultations.