Opioid Manufacturers Under Siege From Government Lawsuits

September 21, 2017  |  Pharmaceuticals, Opioids, Public Entities
Opioids Manufacturers

State and local governments across the U.S. are taking aim at opioid manufacturers by filing lawsuits claiming these companies contributed to the nation’s opioid epidemic. These lawsuits are alleging that the manufacturers marketed opioids in a fraudulent manner, and are seeking hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Main Target

Purdue Pharma, the maker of the opioid painkiller OxyContin, has been particularly hard hit by lawsuits in recent years. In 2007, the company agreed to pay $600 million to settle charges associated with its alleged “misbranding” of the drug. The company had been charged with misleading not only patients and doctors, but also governmental regulators regarding the addictiveness of the drug as well as its potential for misuse.

In addition, three executives with the company also pled guilty to misbranding, which is a violation of criminal law. They were assessed fines totaling $34.5 million.

The state of Kentucky reached a $24 million settlement with Purdue in 2015 after accusing the company of misrepresenting OxyContin as non-addictive. The company had claimed that the drug would not cause addiction because it gradually released its dose over a period of 12 hours. However, when OxyContin is crushed and inhaled or ingested, it creates an instant high.

Other manufacturers named in recent lawsuits include Janssen Pharmaceuticals and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson, Allergan, Endo Health Solutions and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (as well as its subsidiary, Cephalon). Endo developed an opioid painkiller known as Opana, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently ordered to be removed from the market. The FDA did so after determining that the risk of abusing Opana outweighs its benefits.

Baron & Budd is accepting cases on behalf of governmental entities against opioid manufacturers. If you would like more information on how we may be able to help, please call 866-320-4662 or contact us online.

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