The Gist: Georgia has joined a growing list of states, counties and cities that are responding to America’s opioid epidemic by suing pharmaceutical companies. The lawsuit filed Thursday seeks an injunction to stop deceptive marketing practices as well as damages for those impacted by what the lawsuit calls “a man-made plague, 20 years in the making.”

The Plaintiff: The State of Georgia.

The Defendants: Purdue Pharma L.P., Purdue Pharma Inc.; The Purdue Frederick Company Inc.; Cephalon, Inc.; Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.; Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.; Endo Health Solutions, Inc.; Endo International plc; Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Par Pharmaceutical, Inc.; Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc. f/k/a Par Pharmaceutical Holdings, Inc.; Qualitest Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Mallinckrodt plc; Mallinckrodt LLC; SpecGx LLC; Allergan plc; Actavis plc; Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Watson Laboratories, Inc.; Actavis, Inc.; Actavis LLC; Actavis Pharma, Inc.; Watson Pharma, Inc.; AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation; Cardinal Health, Inc.; McKesson Corporation; J M Smith Corporation

The Lawsuit: According to the state attorney general’s office, the lawsuit alleges that, in an effort to increase opioid use and thereby increase profits, the named opioid manufacturers embarked on a false and deceptive marketing campaign that “grossly understated the dangerous addiction risks of opioids, while overstating their benefits. The complaint also alleges that to promote and add credibility to these false and deceptive claims, the named manufacturers used front groups and key opinion leaders appearing to be independent and unbiased third parties that were actually paid and controlled by the opioid manufacturers.”

The lawsuit also alleges that the opioid distributors supplied, sold and placed into the stream of commerce prescription opioids, without fulfilling their legal obligations to monitor, detect, report, investigate or otherwise prevent the fulfillment of suspicious orders.

The Quote: “No Georgia community is a stranger to the devastating effects of the opioid crisis,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “We are bringing this lawsuit quite simply to seek justice for the citizens of Georgia. It is imperative that we recover for the widespread damage that has been caused by this epidemic.”   

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