Citizens and businesses in five states have proposed class-action lawsuits against Dublin-based Cardinal Health and distributors McKesson and AmerisourceBergen for their alleged roles in the opioid crisis.
Jim Letizia reports.
The court filings say the drugmakers and distributors are partially to blame for increased health-insurance premiums over the past two decades. The suits filed in federal court in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York also name drugmakers Purdue Pharma, Teva Pharmaceuticals and Janssen Pharmaceuticals. They allege the companies recklessly failed to prevent the rampant diversion of opioids in violation of state and federal laws, misrepresented their addictive properties, and misled prescribers and patients. The suits seek unspecified damages. The companies have yet to comment. 300 lawsuits have been consolidated in federal district court in Cleveland, and are scheduled for trial next March. The presiding judge is trying to get the drug manufacturers and distributors to settle out of court.