Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Attorney general files suit against national drug distributor for flooding some counties with opioids

Kentucky's attorney general has filed suit against a drug wholesaler, saying the company employed unfair, misleading and deceptive business practices to flood the state with highly addictive opioid painkillers.

Democrat Andy Beshear alleges that San Francisco-based  McKesson Corp. failed to report large volumes of opioid shipments in rural eastern Kentucky to state and federal authorities. The suit seeks an unspecified amount of money and an order to keep McKesson from committing false, deceptive or unfair acts.

Floyd County, Kentucky (Wikipedia map)
"The lawsuit said that in the time at issue, McKesson, which supplies pharmacies, had just under a third of the market share. In Floyd County, that means the lawsuit attributed to McKesson about a third of the 56.3 million doses of painkillers — or more than 1,400 per person — distributed from 2010 through 2016," Bill Estep reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader. "The company knew, or at least should have known, that much of the hydrocodone and oxycodocone it was distributing was being sold illegally and abused, the lawsuit argued."

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/news/state/article195929964.html#storylink=cpy

Suing drug manufacturers and distributors is an increasingly popular move among attorneys general, advocates, and Native American tribes. And Kentucky, which has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic, has seen success with suing drugmakers for the opioid epidemic: Purdue Pharma settled a civil suit filed in Pike County by a previous attorney general for misleading doctors, patients and regulators about the addictive nature of OxyContin.

Beshear's lawsuit is similar to a suit filed last year by the U.S. Justice Department, which alleged that McKesson failed to report suspiciously large orders for opioids in Kentucky and other states, which contributed to the rise in opioid abuse. McKesson settled the federal case for $150 million. In 2008 the company agreed to pay $13.25 million for similar violations but didn't fully comply with the restrictions set into place after the settlement.

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/news/state/article195929964.html#storylink=cp

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