A proposed class action recently transferred to Ohio federal court claims the makers and distributors of prescription opioid drugs marketed their products for chronic use and “turned patients into drug addicts."
A proposed class action recently transferred to Ohio federal court claims the makers and distributors of prescription opioid drugs have devised and executed a scheme by which the parties marketed their products for chronic use and “turned patients into drug addicts for their own corporate profit.”
The lawsuit alleges that prior to the defendants’ aggressive marketing scheme, opioids were only prescribed for short-term or end-of-life use due to the high risk of addiction associated with the drugs. Ignoring these concerns, the defendants allegedly launched a campaign by which they used deceptive advertising and paid endorsements to convince healthcare providers and the public that the drugs could safely be used to treat chronic conditions. The result, according to the lawsuit, was the reported opioid epidemic that is now sweeping the nation, “kill[ing] more Americans than heroin and cocaine combined.”
After criticizing the manufacturer defendants for their allegedly deceptive marketing scheme, the lawsuit points a finger at the distribution defendants, arguing that the companies intentionally ignored their duty to monitor the drugs’ supply chain and warn regulators of suspicious orders.
“Some red flags are so obvious that no one who engages in the legitimate distribution of controlled substances can reasonably claim ignorance of them,” the complaint charges.
Citing potential violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), the lawsuit claims the defendants’ conduct has affected millions, causing “addiction, criminal activity, serious health issues, and loss of life.”