The State of Ohio has filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the pharmaceutical industry for conducting misleading marketing ploys to doctors and patients about the dangers of opioid addiction and abuse. Ohio State Attorney General Mike DeWine cited that "millions of dollars on promotional activities and materials that falsely deny or trivialize the risks of opioids while overstating the benefits of using them for chronic pain." By 2012, the suit filed claims that, opioid prescriptions in Ohio equaled 68 pills a year for every Ohio resident, including children.
The State of Ohio seeks to recover money spent on drug and recovery treatment through programs like Medicaid.
Ohio State Attorney General, Mike DeWine, has helped file similar suits in Mississippi. Other states that have filed suits include West Virginia, the city of Chicago, counties in New York and California. Other states and local governments have retained a close eye on similar filings to see what the best way to proceed with litigation. Expect more filings to follow once certain precedents are met. Settlements reaching sums upwards of tens of millions of dollars are expected.
In 2015 alone, more than 25,000 people in the United States have died overdosing on substances such as fentanyl, oxycodone, and hydrocodone. The states that have the highest death toll are Ohio, Kentucky, New Hampshire, and West Virginia.
The defendants in the case include Purdue Pharma, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Johnson & Johnson, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Allegran, and others.