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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

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 Nov. 2017, Beshear took action to hold the manufactur Endo Pharmaceuticals and Endo Health Solutions responsible for knowing the dangers of their drug Opana ER, violating state law and directly contributing opioid related deaths and overdoses in Kentucky.

On Jan. 22, 2018, Beshear filed suit against San Francisco-based McKesson Corporation over unfair, misleading and deceptive business practices for excessively distributing opioids, particularly in rural counties in Eastern Kentucky, and for failing to report the large volume of these drugs to state and federal authorities. The suit alleges the national opioid distributor allegedly violated state law and directly contributed to the state’s drug epidemic by flooding Kentucky with massive amounts of opioids, including generic oxycodone and hydrocodone.

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.

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