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Summit County

Pharmaceutical Companies Ask That Summit County’s Opioid Suit Be Dismissed

With a filing deadline that was set this Wednesday, several of the corporate defendants named in Summit County’s massive opioid lawsuit have submitted replies. The pharmaceutical companies are asking Third District Court to dismiss the suit.

Last March, Summit County became the first county in the state to file an opioid lawsuit. With the assistance of outside counsel, the county filed a 240-page suit against over two dozen pharmaceutical companies and individuals. The suit asserted that Summit, and many other local governments, have been burdened with the costs of fighting a national opioid crisis.

The litigation said that the defendants mounted a deceptive marketing campaign, starting in the later 1990’s promoting the use of opioids for chronic long-term pain and downplaying the risks of addiction.

The company’s filing replies this week included Insys, Mallinckrodt, Watson Laboratories, Actavis, Cophalon, and Endo Health Solutions.

We’ll have further details on the legal briefings. But the briefing from Janssen pharmaceuticals, for instance, claims that their product labels and other materials, disclose the risks of opioid medication. They say the county’s suit doesn’t support any claim against their specific products, but places the blame for the opioid crisis on the manufacturers of all opioid medications. And they say the litigation doesn’t show that a prescriber specifically in Summit County, or a prescription of a Janssen medication paid for by the county was the result of the company’s misrepresentation nor resulted in harm.

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