Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine filed suit [complaint, PDF] against five major drug manufacturers for misleading marketing practices that led to a painkiller epidemic, reported Jurist. DeWine filed suit in the Ross County Court of Common Pleas [official website] against the manufacturers of drugs such as OxyContin, Percocet, Dilaudid and Percoda, alleging that the companies spent $168 million on sales representatives who downplayed the risks of the drugs while highlighting the benefits. DeWine stated :
These drug manufacturers led prescribers to believe that opioids were not addictive, that addiction was an easy thing to overcome, or that addiction could actually be treated by taking even more opioids. ... They knew they were wrong, but they did it anyway—and they continue to do it. Despite all evidence to the contrary about the addictive nature of these pain medications, they are doing precious little to take responsibility for their actions and to tell the public the truth.
The suit seeks an injunction against the companies' sales practices and damages to reimburse state spending in fighting the painkiller epidemic. Jessica Castles Smith, spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson a subsidiary of Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., stated that the allegations are unfounded.
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