June 26, 2017

States Attor­ney Files Action Against Opi­oid Manufacturers

Union Coun­ty State’s Attor­ney, Tyler R. Edmonds, today filed a law­suit against five pre­scrip­tion opi­oid man­u­fac­tur­ers and their relat­ed com­pa­nies.  The law­suit is brought on behalf of the Peo­ple of the State of Illi­nois, the Peo­ple of Union Coun­ty and Union Coun­ty gov­ern­ment.  The law­suit alleges that the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies made numer­ous mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tions about the risk, ben­e­fits, and adverse effects of opi­oids for the pur­pose of increas­ing prof­its.  The suit claims that the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies’ mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tions were in vio­la­tion of both the Illi­nois Con­sumer Fraud and Decep­tive Prac­tices Act and the Uni­form Decep­tive Trade Prac­tices Act.

State’s Attor­ney Edmonds explained why he filed the law­suit:  “Through­out the coun­try there is an opi­oid addic­tion cri­sis.  Illi­nois and Union Coun­ty are no dif­fer­ent.  This addic­tion cri­sis cross­es all socioe­co­nom­ic class­es and includes your neigh­bors, friends, fam­i­ly mem­bers, and co-work­ers.  All too often this opi­oid addic­tion leads to illic­it drug use, crime, over­dose and death.  We believe that the evi­dence will show that this cri­sis was brought about by opi­oid man­u­fac­tur­ers’ dri­ve for prof­its at the expense of peo­ple.  Opi­oid man­u­fac­tur­ers through a coor­di­nat­ed, sophis­ti­cat­ed and decep­tive mar­ket­ing cam­paign have led pre­scribers and con­sumers to believe that opi­oids were not addic­tive, addic­tion was easy to over­come, and pro­longed use of opi­oids was appro­pri­ate for even low-lev­el pain.  The rep­re­sen­ta­tions of the opi­oid man­u­fac­tur­ers are not sup­port­ed by, and in most instances are direct­ly con­trary to, the sci­en­tif­ic evi­dence.  We need to do every­thing we can to stop this cri­sis, and one of the ways to do that is to hold the opi­oid man­u­fac­tur­ers respon­si­ble for their actions.”

The Com­pa­nies named in the law­suit include:

  • Pur­due Phar­ma, which sold Oxy­Con­tin, MS Con­tin, Dilau­did, Dilau­did-HP Butrans, Hys­lingla ER, and Targiniq ER
  • Endo Health Solu­tions, which sold Per­co­cet, Per­co­dan, Opana, Opana ER, and Zydone
  • Teva Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Indus­tries and its sub­sidiary Cephalon, which sold Actiq and Fentora
  • John­son & John­son and its sub­sidiary Janssen Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, which sold Dura­gesic, Nucyn­ta ER, and Nucynta
  • Aller­gan, which sold Kadi­an, Nor­co, and sev­er­al gener­ic opioids

The law­suit is seek­ing the fol­low­ing remedies:

  • injunc­tive relief pre­vent­ing fur­ther decep­tive practices;
  • resti­tu­tion of mon­ey acquired as a result of decep­tive acts;
  • dis­gorge­ment of prof­its which are the result of decep­tive acts;
  • civ­il penal­ties of $50,000.00 per vio­la­tion of the Con­sumer Fraud and Decep­tive Prac­tices Act;
  • civ­il penal­ties of $10,000.00 for vio­la­tions of the Con­sumer Fraud and Decep­tive Prac­tices Act against indi­vid­u­als over 65 years of age;
  • fees and cost of the suit.

Thomas Lech, Ann Cal­lis, for­mer Chief Judge of the Madi­son Coun­ty Cir­cuit Court, and Greg Jones of the Law Firm of Gold­en­berg Heller & Antog­no­li, P.C. have been appoint­ed spe­cial assis­tant state’s attor­neys to assist in the pros­e­cu­tion of the suit.

Media – For more infor­ma­tion the Union Coun­ty State’s Attorney’s Office at tele­phone 618–833-7216