In a move that pharmaceutical companies are sure watch closely, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine officially filed a lawsuit on May 31 against Purdue Pharma L.P., Johnson & Johnson, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Allergan PLC, and Endo International PLC’s Endo Health Solutions Unit. The suit alleges that the practices of these companies, particularly their marketing of opioid pain killers, are largely responsible for the addiction epidemic in the region. In explaining the suit, DeWine stated that the marketing strategies which led to widespread use of the drugs have, “taken an extraordinary human and financial toll on Ohio.”
However, Johnson & Johnson released a statement arguing that, “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.” The courts will have to decide if pharmaceutical manufacturers bear responsibility for the abuse of the medications they produce. The results of this case, whether settled or taken through court, could potentially have widespread ramifications on the marketing of pharmaceutical drugs.