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USA: New York City files lawsuit against opioid manufacturers & distributors in relation to deadly epidemic

[Also refers to Cardinal Health, Cephalon, Endo, Watson]

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29 January 2018

Opioid makers face hundreds of lawsuits for misleading doctors about drug’s addictive nature

Author: Jerry Mitchell, The (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion Ledger, USA Today

The federal judge overseeing about 200 lawsuits against opioid makers would rather curb the opioid epidemic than referee the litigation...Opioid litigation...reached a flood last year when about 250 cities, counties and states sued opioid makers, wholesalers, distributors and marketers.  The lawsuits accuse the companies of misleading health care professionals and the public by marketing opioids as rarely addictive and a safe substitute for non-addictive pain medications, such as ibuprofen.  The companies deny the claims and say litigation should be halted until the Food and Drug Administration-ordered studies on the long-term risks and benefits of opioids are completed.  Experts say the sheer number of opioid lawsuits could lead some companies to settle...Some hospitals are suing, too...Every state attorney general has either filed a lawsuit against opioid makers or is involved in investigating whether these drugmakers misled health care providers about the addictiveness to opioids. 


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23 January 2018

Mayor de Blasio Announces Lawsuit Against Nation's Largest Opioid Manufacturers and Distributors

Author: Office of New York City Mayor

Mayor Bill de Blasio.. announced the City had filed a lawsuit...in New York State Supreme Court to hold manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioids to account for their part in the City’s ongoing deadly opioid epidemic.  The lawsuit aims to recover half a billion dollars in current and future costs the City will incur to combat this epidemic.  In 2016, more than 1,000 people in New York City died in a drug overdose which involved an opioid, the highest year on record...The City joins hundreds of municipalities across New York State and the nation as it seeks to hold opioid manufacturers and distributors accountable for their illegal actions...[T]he lawsuit alleges that the opioid crisis caused by manufacturers’ deceptive marketing, and distributors’ flooding of prescription painkillers into New York City has placed a substantial burden on the City through increased substance use treatment services...manufacturers sought to create a false perception that using opioids to treat chronic pain was safe for most patients and that the drugs’ benefits outweighed the risks.  This was perpetrated through a coordinated, sophisticated and highly deceptive promotion and marketing campaign...Distributor defendants...have failed to use these tools to warn public officials about suspicious orders...[Also refers to Cardinal Health, Cephalon, Endo, Watson]

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23 January 2018

New York City Sues Drug Companies Over Opioid Crisis

Author: J. David Goodman & William Neuman, New York Times

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday announced that New York City had filed a lawsuit against the manufacturers and distributors of opioid prescription drugs, joining a national campaign to hold the companies responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in costs related to the deadly opioid epidemic... On Jan. 10, he said the city was suing major oil companies

...Mr. de Blasio and his staff likened the efforts to litigation targeting tobacco companies, and suggested that the goals were similar: compensation for city spending to address problems caused by the company’s products, and a change in future corporate behavior.

...New York is far from the first to take drug companies to court over the opioid crisis. Chicago did so in 2014 and its case is continuing...Philadelphia and Delawareeach filed lawsuits in recent days. A lawsuit filed by Oklahoma is expected to go to trial later this year.

...The manufacturers named in the lawsuit include Purdue Pharma, Teva, Cephalon, Johnson & Johnson, Janssen, Endo, Allergan, Watson and various subsidiaries. The distributors include McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen.

..."[A]llegations made in these lawsuits...are baseless and unsubstantiated,” a spokeswoman for Janssen Pharmaceuticals...A spokesman for Purdue Pharma said...it “vigorously” denied the city’s allegations.

[Also refers to Cardinal Health, Cephalon, Endo, Watson]

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