SANTA ANA, Calif. (CN) – Orange and Santa Clara Counties on Wednesday sued five of the country’s biggest painkiller manufacturers, claiming they spent millions of dollars on ad campaigns to push opiates that should be used only for short periods, to treat long-term chronic pain.
Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackaukas claims the deceptive ad campaigns contributed to more than 16,000 deaths by overdose in 2010 alone, and goosed the opiate market from relatively small size into an $8 billion annual industry.
The lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court names as defendants Purdue Pharma, Teva Pharmaceutical, Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson), Endo Health Solutions, Actavis, and affiliates.
The district attorneys accuse the drugmakers of unfair competition, false advertising, and creating a public nuisance.
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