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Prescription pills are still the largest driver of addiction in Kentucky. Over 80 percent of heroin users become addicted through these pills. While the large pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors have made billions from these drugs, they have taken little to no responsibility for their negative effects.

On June 28, 2017, we announced our plans to file multiple lawsuits against drug manufacturers, distributors and retailers where there is evidence that they contributed to the opioid epidemic by illegally marketing and selling opioids to Kentuckians. To support this litigation, we issued a request for proposal (RFP) for legal services to assist the Commonwealth in multiple lawsuits and to ensure that Kentucky tax dollars are not used for the costs of the litigations. The office awarded a contract to a legal team in September 2017.

Current Prescription Drug Industry Lawsuits

Since taking office, Beshear has been working to hold opioid manufacturers and distributors accountable and to find workable solutions to the drug epidemic.

In 2016, the office joined a multistate lawsuit alleging the drugmaker of Suboxone, a drug used for treating opioid addiction, tried to monopolize the market.

In November 2017, Beshear's office first filed suit against manufacturer Endo Pharmaceuticals regarding its drug Opana ER. The suit alleges Endo violated state law and directly contributed to opioid related deaths and overdoses in Kentucky.

In 2018, Beshear sued opioid distributors, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson Corporation, which together are responsible for supplying 85 percent of opioids in Kentucky, and pharmaceutical manufacturers Janssen Pharmaceuticals (Johnson and Johnson), Mallinckrodt, Teva Pharmaceutical and Insys Therapeutics.

Beshear also filed suit against Walgreens for its dual role as distributor and pharmacy in allegedly failing to legally monitor its own operations that shipped and dispensed large quantities of opioids through its more than 70 locations statewide.

See the table below for the status of these lawsuits.

Press conference announcing lawsuit over Opana ER
Attorney General Andy Beshear, standing with survivors of overdose victims, announces lawsuit against the manufacturer of Opana ER.
Defendant​ ​Role Court​/Case # Complaint​ ​Status
​​Endo Pharmaceuticals
Pennsylvania
Manufacturer ​Franklin County
17-CI-01147
Filed 11/6/2017
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Defendant filed motion to dismiss. ​Court denied motion to dismiss. Case is in discovery phase.
​McKesson Corporation
California
​Distributor ​Franklin County
18-CI-00056
Filed 1/22/2018
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​Initially moved to federal court, but was remanded to Franklin Circuit Court. Defendant filed motion to dismiss. Court denied motion to dismiss. Case is in discovery phase.
​Cardinal Health
Ohio
​Distributor ​Jefferson County
18-CI-001013
Filed 2/19/2018
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Initially transferred to federal court multidistrict litigation, but was remanded to Jefferson Circuit Court. Defendant filed motion to dismiss. Motion was heard on May 23 before Judge Gibson. Awaiting Judge's decision.
​AmerisourceBergen
Pennsylvania
​Distributor ​Floyd County
18-CI-00167
Filed 3/8/2018
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​Initially transferred to federal court, but was remanded to Floyd Circuit Court. Defendant filed motion to dismiss. Court denied motion to dismiss. Case is in discovery phase.
​​Janssen Pharmaceuticals
New Jersey
Manufacturer ​McCracken County
18-CI-00313
​Filed 4/18/2018
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Defendant filed motion to dismiss. Court denied motion to dismiss.​ Case is in discovery phase.
​​Walgreens
Illinois
​Distributor ​Boone County
18-CI-00846
Filed 6/14/2018
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Initially transferred to federal court, but was remanded to Boone Circuit Court.​ Defendant filed motion to dismiss. Hearing on the motion before Judge Schrand is scheduled for June 24 at 1:30 p.m.
​​Mallinckrodt
Missouri
Manufacturer ​Madison County
18-CI-00381
Filed 7/12/2018
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Defendant filed motion to dismiss. Court denied motion to dismiss. Case is in discovery phase.
​Teva Pharmaceuticals
Pennsylvania
Manufacturer ​Fayette County
18-CI-03762
Filed 10/25/2018
Download
​Defendant filed motion to dismiss. Motion was heard on April 29 before Judge Van Meter who denied the motion from the bench.
​Insys Therapeutics
Arizona
Manufacturer ​Hardin County
18-CI-01845
Filed 11/19/2018
Download
​Defendant filed motion to dismiss. Court denied motion to dismiss. (Defendant has since filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.)

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