Missouri attorney general sues drug companies over opioids - KMOV.com

Missouri attorney general sues drug companies over opioids

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(Credit: KMOV) (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is suing three large pharmaceutical companies, saying their "campaign of deception" led to a startling opioid crisis in the state.

Hawley, a Republican, spoke Wednesday at a news conference in St. Louis, where the suit is being filed. The suit seeks hundreds of millions of dollars in both damages and civil penalties. It names Endo Pharmaceuticals, Purdue Pharma, and Janssen Pharmaceuticals.

The complaint says the companies violated state consumer protection laws, misleading doctors and consumers by fraudulently misrepresenting risks posed by the drugs that they make and sell.

Other states have also sued pharmaceutical companies over the opioid crisis, starting with Mississippi in 2015.

Several drug companies responded to the lawsuit by releasing the following statements:

Purdue Phrama:

“While we vigorously deny the allegations in the complaint, we share the attorney general’s concerns about the opioid crisis and we are committed to working collaboratively to find solutions. OxyContin accounts for less than 2% of the opioid analgesic prescription market nationally, but we are an industry leader in the development of abuse-deterrent technology, advocating for the use of prescription drug monitoring programs and supporting access to Naloxone -- all important components toward combating the opioid crisis.”

Janssen Pharmaceuticals: 

We recognize that opioid abuse is a serious public health issue. Janssen has acted appropriately, responsibly and in the best interests of patients regarding our opioid pain medications, which are FDA-approved and carry FDA-mandated warnings about the known risks of the medications on every product label.

Endo: 

At Endo, our top priorities include patient safety and ensuring that patients with chronic pain have access to safe and effective therapeutic options. We share in the FDA’s goal of appropriately supporting the needs of patients with chronic pain while preventing misuse and diversion of opioid products.

 

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