W.Va. attorney general sues 2 more opioid manufacturers

Published: Nov. 20, 2019 at 2:24 PM EST
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West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed lawsuits against two major opioid painkiller manufacturers on Tuesday.

The lawsuits allege that Endo Health Solutions Inc., Mallinckrodt LLC and various subsidiaries contributed to the opioid crisis by engaging in strategic campaigns to deceive prescribers and misrepresent the risks and benefits of opioid painkillers.

“We must hold everyone in the pharmaceutical supply channel accountable,” Morrisey said in a news release. “We cannot let bad actors go unpunished. These alleged actions have caused widespread harm to our state and its citizens. We will not tolerate these practices, nor will we stand idly by as senseless death takes the lives of far too many West Virginians.”

The lawsuits, filed separately in Boone County Circuit Court, accuse the companies of failing to disclose the serious risk of addiction, overstating the benefits of chronic opioid therapy and promoting higher dosage amounts without disclosing inherently greater risks.

The lawsuits say the manufacturers’ conduct and campaign of misrepresentations led to opioids becoming a common treatment for chronic pain in West Virginia, a reality that fueled substance abuse and the state’s skyrocketing rate of overdose deaths.

The lawsuits, which also accuse the companies of violating the state’s Consumer Credit and Protection Act, follow similar actions filed earlier this year against opioid manufacturers Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson and Teva Pharmaceuticals.

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