West Virginia AG Sues Opioid Makers, Says They Hid Risks

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia’s top prosecutor says he’s sued the major opioid makers Johnson & Johnson and Teva Pharmaceuticals USA for misrepresenting the risks of their painkilling drugs.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed separate suits against the companies Friday in Boone County, West Virginia.

Both cases accuse the drugmakers of violating the state’s Consumer Credit and Protection Act and seek monetary penalties. Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Teva sister company Cephalon are also named as defendants.

Morrisey says the companies didn’t disclose the addictive risks of their drugs and engaged in strategic campaigns to deceive prescribers.

Emails to Johnson & Johnson and Teva were not immediately returned.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says opioids were involved in more than 47,000 deaths in both 2017 and 2018.