COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio attorney general is suing five drugmakers that he says are perpetrating the state’s addictions epidemic.
Attorney General Mike DeWine accuses the companies of intentionally misleading patients about the dangers of painkillers and promoting benefits of the drugs not backed by science.
DeWine announced the complaint Wednesday as he accused the companies of creating a deadly mess in Ohio that they now need to pay to clean up.
A record 3,050 Ohioans died from drug overdoses in 2015, a figure expected to jump sharply once 2016 figures are tallied.
DeWine, a Republican expected to run for governor next year, joins other states that have filed similar lawsuits in the past.
Janssen Pharmaceuticals, one of the drugmakers accused by the Ohio attorney general of improper promotion of opiates, says his lawsuit is legally and factually unfounded.
The company says it acted appropriately, responsibly and in the best interests of patients.
Another defendant, Purdue Pharma, says it shares DeWine’s concerns about the opiate crisis and is committed to working together on a solution. It won’t say if it’s challenging the lawsuit.
Teva Pharmaceuticals says it’s still reviewing the lawsuit and is unable to comment.
Messages were left with Endo Health Solutions and Allergan.