Health

WVa lawsuit against opioid makers set for 2021 trial

A lawsuit filed by the state of West Virginia accusing a number of opioid producers of misrepresenting the dangers of their painkilling medicine will go to trial subsequent April

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A lawsuit filed by the state of West Virginia accusing a number of drug producers of misrepresenting the dangers of their painkilling medicine will go to trial subsequent April, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey mentioned Thursday.

The Mass Litigation Panel, a bunch of state judges in Kanawha County, granted a movement by the state to expedite the trial, Morrisey mentioned in a information launch. The lawsuits had been beforehand filed individually in Boone County in August 2019.

Teva Pharmaceuticals Inc., Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Endo Health Solutions Inc. are accused of violating the state Consumer Credit and Protection Act and inflicting a public nuisance.

Morrisey says the businesses engaged in strategic campaigns to deceive prescribers. The lawsuits allege the producers’ conduct led to opioids turning into a standard therapy for persistent ache and fueled substance abuse in West Virginia.

According to Morrisey, Teva is accused of telling docs that sufferers might take more and more sturdy opioids with out disclosing the rising threat of dependancy, and disguising its advertising efforts by means of third-party advocates {and professional} associations.

Johnson & Johnson, by means of Janssen, additionally allegedly downplayed the hazards of prescription ache tablets by distributing affected person schooling guides that sought to dispel the “myth” that opioids are addictive, Morrisey mentioned.

Endo is accused of rebranding a drug from the Nineteen Sixties linked to widespread abuse with a brand new identify and coloration and misrepresenting a later model of the drug as tamper resistant.

Last year, Morrisey sued Walmart and drugstore chain CVS, saying they failed to observe and report suspicious orders of prescription painkillers to their retail pharmacies.

In separate, comparable lawsuits, the state reached a $37 million settlement with distributor McKesson Corp. in 2019, and $20 million with Cardinal Health Inc. and $16 million with AmerisourceBergen Drug Co. in 2017.

West Virginia leads the nation within the rate of drug overdose deaths.

Last week, legal professionals for state and native governments introduced a possible $26 billion nationwide settlement over the toll of opioids with AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson in addition to drug-maker Johnson & Johnson.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that overdose deaths soared to a report 93,000 nationwide final year within the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A bench trial wrapped up final week in federal courtroom in Charleston in a lawsuit accusing AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson of fueling the opioid disaster in Cabell County and the town of Huntington. A verdict might come later this month.


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