Attorney General files suit against pharmaceutical company for contributing to opioid deaths and overdoses

11/06/2017 04:00 PM

FRANKFORT – In 2016, 190 Kentuckians lost their lives from drug overdoses caused by the drug Opana ER (oxymorphone hydrochloride extended release) and Monday, Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear announced that he is suing the drug’s manufacturer, Endo Pharmaceuticals and Endo Health Solutions for violating state law and directly contributing to opioid related deaths and overdoses in Kentucky.

Beshear said that the company knowingly and unlawfully built a market for the chronic use of opioids in the name of increasing corporate profits knowing all along the dangers of Opana ER.

“Even though they knew their opioid products were addictive and possibly lethal, Endo forged ahead with a marketing plan targeting doctors and patients to build a bigger market,” Beshear said.

As a result of Endo’s actions, Beshear says it’s time to sue the pharmaceutical company for all of the havoc, sorrow and destruction it has created for many Kentucky families.

“It’s my duty to ensure companies that puts profits over people take responsibility,” Beshear said. “Endo is one of a group of multi-national billion drug companies whose products have ravaged this state, our state and the families up here. Yet, to date, they have not reinvested one dime to fix the problems that they’ve caused.”

Emily Walden of Louisville lost her son, T.J., as a result of an Opana overdose in 2012. T.J., who was a member of the Kentucky National Guard, overdosed on Opana ER and died shortly before he was to deploy overseas.

“I believe in personal responsibility, and there is no doubt that my son made some very bad decisions, but there is also responsibility in how these drugs became so accessible,” Walden said. “Safety must come before profits.”

Walden had emailed Endo asking for help when her son became addicted to Opana ER. One month after T.J.‘s death – a full year after she reached out to Endo about his addiction – the company finally responded to ask her for information so that it could file a report with the FDA.

The lawsuit seeks civil penalties and compensatory and punitive damages for the Commonwealth.

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at donald.weber@charter.com.

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