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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.

This year, 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) and Mallinckrodt.

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 Manufacturer ​Franklin County
Filed 11/6/2017
​Court denied Defendant's motion to dismiss. Case is in discovery phase.
​McKesson Corporation ​Distributor ​Franklin County
Filed 1/22/2018
​Defendant initially moved case to federal court, but it has been remanded to Franklin Circuit Court. Defendant filed motion to dismiss. Motion is scheduled for hearing on Oct. 8.
​Cardinal Health ​Distributor ​Jefferson County
Filed 2/19/2018
Initially transferred to federal court multidistrict litigation, but has been remanded to Jefferson Circuit Court.
AmerisourceBergen ​Distributor ​Floyd County
Filed 3/8/2018
​Initially transferred to federal court, but has been remanded to Floyd Circuit Court. Defendant filed motion to dismiss. Motion is scheduled for hearing on Oct. 19.
​Janssen Pharmaceuticals Manufacturer ​McCracken County
​Filed 4/18/2018
Defendant filed motion to dismiss. Awaiting decision by court.​
​Walgreens ​Distributor ​Boone County
Filed 6/14/2018
Removed to federal court and transferred to multidistrict litigation. The Office of the Attorney General has asked the federal court to return the case to state court.​
​Mallinckrodt Manufacturer ​Madison County
Filed 7/12/2018
Defendant filed motion to dismiss. Motion is scheduled for hearing on Dec. 13.

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