Georgia’s Attorney General has filed suit against opioid manufacturers and distributors for their alleged role in fueling the opioid crisis in the state.
The complaint alleges that some manufacturers used deceptive marketing which “grossly understated the dangerous addiction risks of opioids” and “[overstated] their benefits” all in an effort to increase opioid use and subsequent profit increase.
“We are bringing this lawsuit quite simply to seek justice for the citizens of Georgia,” Attorney General Chris Carr stated on Thursday. “It is imperative that we recover for the widespread damage that has been caused by this epidemic.”
The lawsuit also alleges that manufacturers used front groups and “key opinion leaders” to appear as independent and unbiased third parties, though they were actually paid and controlled by the manufacturers.
In addition, the complaint alleges that distributors supplied prescription opioids without “fulfilling their legal obligations to monitor, detect, report, investigate or otherwise prevent the fulfillment of suspicious orders.”
The suit alleges that this action led to the drugs being used for “illegitimate and/or non-medical purposes.”
The lawsuit was filed Thursday in the Superior Court of Gwinnett County. The state is seeking damages, injunctive relief and restitution for defendants’ conduct.
Carr has appointed John Bevis of Barnes Law Group as a Special Assistant Attorney General in this case. Barnes Law Group will work in conjunction with The Cooper Firm, Beasley Allen Law Firm and Franklin Law, LLC — a father-daughter team located in Savannah.
The following distributors have been named in the lawsuit:
Purdue Pharma L.P., Purdue Pharma Inc.; The Purdue Frederick Company Inc.; Cephalon, Inc.; Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.; Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.; Endo Health Solutions, Inc.; Endo International plc; Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Par Pharmaceutical, Inc.; Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc. f/k/a Par Pharmaceutical Holdings, Inc.; Qualitest Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Mallinckrodt plc; Mallinckrodt LLC; SpecGx LLC; Allergan plc; Actavis plc; Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Watson Laboratories, Inc.; Actavis, Inc.; Actavis LLC; Actavis Pharma, Inc.; Watson Pharma, Inc.; AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation; Cardinal Health, Inc.; McKesson Corporation; J M Smith Corporation