Ohio Sues Pharmaceutical Giants for Misleading Patients on the Risks of Painkillers 

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The US has experience a record level of deaths related to painkiller overdoses in the last few years — Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Ohio has decided to file a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson or Teva, accused of lying to consumers about the risks of addiction to certain drugs.

The United States is experiencing a serious public health crisis linked to opiates, and Ohio has decided to go on the attack. The Midwestern state has filed a complaint Wednesday against five pharmaceutical giants accused of having concealed the risks of addiction related to the taking of opiate-based painkillers, at the heart of a serious public health crisis in the United States.

“These drug producers made us believe… that opiates were not addictive, that addiction was easy to overcome whereas it could be treated by taking more opiates,” said Mike DeWine, the Attorney General of the state.

The complaint includes the US giants Johnson & Johnson and Allergan, and the Israeli company Teva, reports the AG’s office. Ohio wants in particular the accused companies to admit their guilt and compensate the State and the patients.

According to the statement, their “fraudulent” practices and their “misleading” marketing — hiding the risk of addiction to painkillers — have helped to “accelerate” the prescription of opiates and fuel the crisis that has hit Ohio particularly hard. In 2015, 1,155 Ohians have died of overdose of Fentanyl, a very powerful analgesic opioid. This number more than double that of 2014, according to official figures.

Across the United States, more than 15,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).