WV Attorney General sues 2 major opioid manufacturers

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed a suit Friday against two major manufacturers of opioids, Johnson & Johnson and Teva Pharmaceuticals. (Source: WV Attorney General's office)
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WDTV)-- West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed lawsuits Friday against two major manufacturers of opioids, Johnson & Johnson and Teva Pharmaceuticals.

Morrisey alleges that both manufacturers helped fuel the opioid epidemic by individually engaging in strategic campaigns to deceive prescribers and misrepresent risks and benefits of opioid painkillers.

“The widespread deception alleged in our lawsuits cannot be tolerated,” Morrisey said. “Bad actors within the pharmaceutical supply channel cause immense harm to the state of West Virginia and its citizens. They must be held accountable for their actions.”

Morrisey alleges both manufacturers helped fuel the opioid epidemic by individually taking part in campaigns to deceive people who are prescribed and misrepresent the risks and benefits of opioid painkillers

The Johnson & Johnson lawsuit alleges its subsidiary and co-defendant, Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., chose to persuade concerned doctors that opioids were more effective and safe enough for wide and long-term use, even for treatment of relatively minor pain conditions.

According to the Teva lawsuit, sales representatives for that manufacturer marketed the fentanyl-based opioid Actiq to non-oncologists and pain clinic doctors, even though the representatives knew the drug was for cancer patients.

Morrisey alleges the manufacturers conduct violated the state's Consumer Credit and Protection Act and caused a public nuisance.

The Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. lawsuit also names Cephalon Inc. as a defendant. Both are subsidiaries of Teva Pharmaceuticals Limited.

Both lawsuits were filed in the Boone County Circuit Court.

The full copy of the civil complaints can be found on the right of this article.