Attorney General Andy Beshear has filed another lawsuit against a drug manufacturer, accusing a company that makes morphine and codeine of using deceptive marketing to promote painkillers that fueled the drug addiction epidemic in Kentucky.
In a news conference on Thursday, Beshear said that St. Louis pharmaceutical company Mallinckrodt underplayed the risk of addiction in order to promote its opioid products.
“Mallinckrodt sold and promoted their opioids by falsely claiming that their drugs could be taken in higher doses without disclosing the additional risk of addiction,” Beshear said.
This is the seventh lawsuit Beshear has filed against opioid distributors or manufacturers who do business in Kentucky.
Beshear filed the lawsuit in Madison County Circuit Court, saying that the area has been hurt especially hard by the drug addiction epidemic.
“We are making these companies come to our communities to explain to a jury of our people how they took these actions and I believe that our Kentuckians, our families will hold them accountable,” Beshear said.
Beshear said he is seeking penalties against Mallinckrodt for allegedly violating the consumer protection act and seeking a court order that forces the company to help address the drug epidemic.
Last month, he filed a suit in Boone County Circuit Court against Walgreens, saying the company helped fuel the opioid epidemic by failing to monitor large shipments of pain pills throughout its stores across the state.
Mallinckrodt is the subject of a similar lawsuit in New Mexico.
According to the state’s Office of Drug Control Policy, more than 1,400 Kentuckians died of drug overdoses in 2016.