Cuyahoga County

Cuyahoga County Files Lawsuit Against Drug Companies

10/27/2017

Cuyahoga County officials on Friday filed a lawsuit accusing several major prescription drug companies of intentionally misleading the public about the dangers of opioids to sell more painkillers as they raked in "blockbuster profits."

The 269-page complaint, filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, claims drug manufacturers, distributors and four influential doctors unjustly enriched themselves as they acted as a criminal enterprise and conspired to break numerous state laws meant to protect consumers.

The conspiracy contributed to the scourge of opioid overdoses that has tormented thousands of families and is now threatening to bust the county's budget, the suit claims.

"We have had enough," County Executive Armond Budish said. "We're opening a new front in our battle against this opioid epidemic."

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O'Malley also said his office would conduct a criminal review of the companies named in the lawsuit, and recused his office from representing the county in the lawsuit.

The suit names some of the largest and most powerful companies in the pharmaceutical industry, including Purdue Pharma LP, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Cephalon, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen Corp. It also accuses four doctors, Robert Portenoy, Perry Fine, Lynn Webster and Scott Fisher, of downplaying the risk of prescription opioids in papers and lectures funded by the drug companies.

Click here to read the full article and watch the press conference from cleveland.com