Florida and Texas Are Among Latest States to Sue Opioid Painkiller Companies

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Florida, Texas and 4 different states grew to become the newest to file lawsuits towards Purdue Pharma LP and different opioid painkiller makers, alleging they fueled an habit disaster by misrepresenting the dangers of their medicine.

Florida and Texas, essentially the most populous states but to pursue litigation, be a part of greater than a dozen different states and tons of of counties, together with Ohio, Alabama, Missouri, New Hampshire and Washington, to sue opioid painkiller makers. Many states and counties have additionally sued painkiller distributors.

Florida mentioned it filed swimsuit in state courtroom towards painkiller makers Purdue Pharma,

Endo Worldwide

PLC,

Johnson & Johnson
,

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
Ltd.

, and

Allergan

PLC, alleging their advertising performed down the painkillers’ dangers of habit. Florida’s lawsuit additionally targets the drug distributors

AmerisourceBergen
Corp.

,

Cardinal Well being
Inc.,

and

McKesson
Corp.

, alleging they failed to manage harmful shipments of the medicine to pharmacies. Florida additionally sued

Mallinckrodt

PLC, describing it as a distributor.

Texas, Nevada, Tennessee, North Carolina and North Dakota on Tuesday filed swimsuit towards Purdue Pharma, maker of the painkiller OxyContin, with allegations much like Florida’s.

“The individuals who began this, the individuals who created this, the producers and distributors of those medicine who pushed them, will likely be held accountable,” Florida Legal professional Normal Pam Bondi mentioned at a information convention, flanked by law-enforcement officers who lashed out on the firms, accusing them of prioritizing income over public security.

Purdue Pharma denied the allegations, including: “We’re disenchanted that after months of fine religion negotiations working towards a significant decision to assist these states handle the opioid disaster, this group of attorneys basic have unilaterally determined to pursue a expensive and protracted litigation course of.”

Johnson & Johnson known as its advertising of the medicine “acceptable and accountable.” Teva mentioned it’s “dedicated to the suitable use of opioid medicines.” Allergan mentioned it helps the “secure, accountable use of prescription drugs.”

The distributor AmerisourceBergen mentioned it stories and stops pharmacies’ drug orders after they seem suspicious and performs no position in prescribing or allotting ache medicines. The opposite firms didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark; most have denied related allegations prior to now.

All the states submitting swimsuit Tuesday are a part of a bipartisan, multistate group that has been investigating the advertising of painkillers and the causes of the habit disaster.

Late final yr, Purdue mentioned it was holding talks with the multistate group aimed toward forging some form of decision.

Nevada Legal professional Normal Adam Laxalt’s workplace mentioned Tuesday it’s nonetheless investigating different opioid producers and distributors as a part of that group, which it mentioned is constant “to have interaction in ongoing settlement discussions with Purdue and different firms.”

North Carolina Legal professional Normal Josh Stein mentioned that if the persevering with multistate investigations result in the conclusion that different firms violated the regulation, “I cannot hesitate to take them to courtroom as properly.” The opioid disaster, he mentioned, “has left demise and destruction in its wake in North Carolina.”

Texas Legal professional Normal

Ken Paxton

mentioned the state, by way of its lawsuit, is “holding Purdue Pharma accountable for fueling the nation’s opioid epidemic by deceptively advertising prescription painkillers together with OxyContin when it knew their medicine had been probably harmful.”

Requested how a lot cash Florida is in search of in damages, Ms. Bondi mentioned “thousands and thousands, billions, most likely.” She added Florida would favor to settle the case to keep away from extended litigation however is ready to combat in courtroom. Like many different states, Florida has employed outdoors regulation corporations to help within the litigation; the corporations stand to win a proportion of any settlement or judgment.

Greater than 750 cities, counties, states and Indian tribes have launched lawsuits towards opioid producers and distributors.

The attorneys basic have largely filed fits in state courtroom. The vast majority of the remainder of the circumstances are consolidated in federal courtroom earlier than U.S. District Choose

Dan Polster

in Cleveland, who has pushed onerous for a fast decision.

At a listening to earlier than Choose Polster final week, court-appointed particular grasp Francis McGovern, who’s guiding settlement talks, mentioned there have been “very fruitful, very open, cooperative discussions.”

The decide has set a trial date in March 2019, however pressured once more final week that litigating the case ought to been seen as a device towards settling and never a substitute. “I nonetheless am resolved to be the catalyst to take some steps this yr to show the trajectory of this epidemic down quite than up up up,” Choose Polster mentioned.



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