CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Two more major opioid manufacturers are facing new legal action from West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
The lawsuits against Endo Health Solutions Inc. and Mallinckrodt LLC and other subsidiaries allege the companies contributed to the drug crisis by employing a campaign to hide the risk of using opioid painkillers.
“We must hold everyone in the pharmaceutical supply channel accountable,” Morrisey said. “We cannot let bad actors go unpunished. These alleged actions have caused widespread harm to our state and its citizens. We will not tolerate these practices, nor will we stand idly by as senseless death takes the lives of far too many West Virginians.”
The lawsuits were filed in the Boone County Circuit Court.
The suit claims Endo rebranded a drug from the 1960s by renaming it Opana and changing the color of the drug. The suit says the company conducted the campaign to relevant in the painkiller market. Further the suit alleges the misrepresented another version called Opana ER as tamper resistant.
The Mallinkckrodt lawsuit cites an email that a distributor jokes about addiction and makes a comparison to chips saying, “Keep eating. We’ll make more.”
Another email in the Mallinkckrodt case cites another email claiming the company used a reggae song to train its sales team to push doctors to prescribe stronger doses. The internal email to the sales staff allegedly said “happy listening and good selling.”
Morrisey claims the companies violated the Consumer Credit and Protection Act and created a public nuisance.