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Beshear Sues Drugmaker For Deceptive Marketing Of Opioids

Andy Beshear

Kentucky's Democratic attorney general has filed a fifth lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company for deceptive marketing of opioid-based painkillers.

Andy Beshear said he has filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and two of its subsidiaries.

Beshear said the companies claimed their opioid drugs were "rarely addictive" when used for chronic pain. He said the companies violated the state's Consumer Protection Act and the Kentucky Medicaid and Kentucky Assistance Program fraud statutes.

Beshear has also sued Endo Pharmaceuticals, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson Corporation. Together, Beshear said those companies supplied 85 percent of opioid-based prescription painkillers in Kentucky.

From 2006 to 2015, Beshear said Kentucky had more opioid prescriptions than people and the state had the sixth-highest number of opioid-related deaths in the country.