West Virginia attorney general files opioid lawsuit against Endo Health Solutions Inc. and Mallinckrodt LLC
November 22, 2019
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Two more major opioid painkiller manufacturers are in hot water for their role in the nation's deadly opioid crisis after the West Virginia attorney general filed a lawsuit Tuesday in one of the states hit the hardest by the ongoing epidemic.
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AG Patrick Morrisey’s lawsuits target pharma giants Mallinckrodt LLC and Endo Health Solutions Inc. and their subsidiaries, Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Par Pharmaceuticals Inc. for Endo and SpecGx LLC for Mallinckrodt. The lawsuits claim the companies helped incite the opioid crisis in West Virginia by utilizing deceptive marketing practices to misinform prescribers as well as obscure the massive risks involved in taking opiate painkillers.
“We must hold everyone in the pharmaceutical supply channel accountable,” Morrisey said in a press release Wednesday. “We cannot let bad actors go unpunished. These alleged actions have caused widespread harm to our state and its citizens. We will not tolerate these practices, nor will we stand idly by as senseless death takes the lives of far too many West Virginians.”
The suits, filed separately in the Boone County Circuit Court, filed separately, contend that Mallinckrodt LLC and Endo Health Solutions Inc. exaggerated the medical benefits of undergoing chronic opioid pain management while encouraging higher doses of the drugs despite never revealing the risks of addiction and potential for deadly overdoses.
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Morrisey cited Endo’s efforts to rebrand its clinically addictive opioid painkiller medication, initially developed in the 1960s, in a move to remain competitive throughout the last five to six decades. Morrisey specifically mentioned Endo changing the name of the drug to Opana and superficially changing the color of the drug while erroneously marketing later versions as being tamper-resistant.