DeWine files suit against pharmaceutical companies

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine filed a lawsuit Wednesday targeting five pharmaceutical companies for contributing to Ohio's opiate crisis.

"It is just and it is right that the people who had a significant role in creating this mess in Ohio should clean it up," DeWine said in a news conference.

Following a year that saw large spikes in deaths related to heroin, fentanyl and carfentanil overdoses throughout the state, this lawsuit it just the most recent attempt by DeWine to combat the epidemic.

In March, DeWine announced a pilot program to help children abused or neglected due to their parents' drug use in 14 southern Ohio counties most impacted by opiate abuse.

Last year, DeWine set up a special heroin unit as part of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and if a local community requests help, the state will bring agents, equipment and lawyers to aid in enforcement.

The lawsuit against the drug companies was filed in Ross County.

DeWine said the companies made false claims including statements such as those who take opiates as prescribed usually do not become addicted.

The suit also targets the drug companies marketing opioids to doctors.

"They knew all of it was wrong and they did it anyway," DeWine said.

The lawsuit seeks to declare the actions of the companies illegal. DeWine is also seeking damages and compensations for consumers.

© Gannett Co., Inc. 2017. All Rights Reserved


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