OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Advocate Accepted Mike Hunter on Monday brought a accusation adjoin three distributors of opioids afterwards acceptable a accusation adjoin one biologic architect and extensive pretrial settlements in added cases.
Hunter filed the accusation in Cleveland County District Court adjoin Cardinal Health Inc., McKesson Corp. and AmerisourceBergen Corp.
“Oklahoma is in crisis. … The antecedent of this crisis is the flood of decree opioids that has inundated Oklahoma for the accomplished two decades,” the accusation says. “It is a counterfeit crisis. It was brought into actuality by the biologic industry.”
The accusation said the defendants “distributed what can alone be alleged a above crowd of opioids into Oklahoma.”
Hunter’s spokesman, Alex Gerszewski, said the companies broadcast opioids primarily to hospitals and pharmacies and were answerable to accept a systems of checks and balances to active them if there was a sharp, alien access in opioid orders.
“We will appearance that these companies again abandoned red flags and in accomplishing so played a above role in breaking the dam of analgesic abnegation back they abounding the country with opioids,” Hunter said during a account appointment announcement the suit.
McKesson said in a account Monday that “any advancement that (the company) collection appeal for opioids in this country reflects a axiological confounding and mischaracterization of our role as a distributor.”
AmerisourceBergen said in a account that “beyond our advertisement and actual awkward of potentially apprehensive orders, we debris account to barter we account as a aberration risk.”
Cardinal Health said in a account that it is able to “vigorously” avert itself at trial, abacus it’s “confident that the facts presented will appearance we booty our role and the albatross that comes with it seriously, assignment adamantine every day to get it right, and accomplish changes back we acquisition means to improve.”
The clothing comes afterwards Hunter won a accusation in August adjoin opioid architect Johnson & Johnson, which was ordered to pay $465 million.
Both Hunter and Johnson & Johnson accept appealed the ruling.
Hunter’s appointment says the accolade is alone abundant to pay for one year of the state’s opioid abatement plan. Johnson & Johnson maintains the accolade should be bargain by $355 actor to account pretrial settlements accomplished with added drugmakers.
The accompaniment accomplished settlements aftermost year of $270 actor with drugmaker Purdue Pharma and $85 actor with Israeli-owned Teva Pharmaceuticals.
An $8.75 actor adjustment was accomplished aftermost anniversary with Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Par Pharmaceutical, Inc., both subsidiaries of Dublin-based Endo International.
The Oklahoma accusation comes afterwards Michigan in December sued opioid distributors Cardinal Health, McKesson Health, AmerisourceBergen, and Walgreen Co.
Opioids, including heroin and decree drugs, were a agency in a almanac 48,000 deaths beyond the U.S. in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Oklahoma recorded about 400 opioid deaths that year.
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