Manufacturers, Distributors, Pharmacies Opioid Epidemic RICO Case

A very large multi-district litigation (MDL) case on opioids is currently working its way through the court system, with multiple complaints, long lists of defendants, and around 3,500 documents currently on file. The complaints bring suit against a group of manufacturers, marketers, distributors, national pharmacies, and pharmacy benefit managers, for creating or contributing to the opioid epidemic, with addictions and deaths across the US.

Many of the cases bundled into this MDL are not, strictly speaking, class actions. However, many of them are brought by large groups, such as cities. The lists of defendants are very long, covering in some instances more than two pages. They include such parties as Purdue Pharma, LP, Jansson, Endo, Walmart, CVS, Express Scripts, Optum RX, and many more.

The complaints claim that the manufacturers attempted to change the perceptions of medical providers about opioids and to increase the demand for opioid drugs. Opioids had long been regarded as effective but having a high potential for addiction, so that doctors had been reluctant to prescribe them for extended periods or for situations that were not presumed to involve severe pain at the end of life.

The complaint details alleged misrepresentations made by the defendants and the methods they used to spread them, such as unbranded advertising and speakers’ bureaus.

Also, the complaints allege that marketers aimed their sales pitches at vulnerable populations, and that they had a duty to educate doctors with accurate information.

Distributors contributed, the complaints allege, because they did not properly control the drug lots that passed through their hands. This allowed for diversion of the drugs to illegitimate markets, which in turn fueled addictions, particularly to people who could no longer obtain prescriptions for the drugs through proper channels.

Another allegation is that the companies involved worked to delay real responses to the growing opioid crisis. The complaints allege that they merely “pretended” to work with law enforcement and worked together to maintain their markets and keep their profits up.

The result, the complaints claim, have been “devastating” for individuals and the communities they live in. The various actions brought under this MDL case attempt to detail the complexity of the attempt to promote and sell opioids and all the actions and circumstances that should have mitigated the enterprise, but that the defendant companies resisted.

The counts include RICO charges, negligence, common law public nuisance, unjust enrichment, civil conspiracy, and a request for punitive damages.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: RICO

Most Recent Case Event

Manufacturers, Distributors, Pharmacies Opioid Epidemic RICO Complaint

September 12, 2019

A very large multi-district litigation (MDL) case on opioids is currently working its way through the court system, with multiple complaints, long lists of defendants, and around 3,500 documents currently on file. The complaints bring suit against a group of manufacturers, marketers, distributors, national pharmacies, and pharmacy benefit managers, for creating or contributing to the opioid epidemic, with addictions and deaths across the US.

Manufacturers, Distributors, Pharmacies Opioid Epidemic RICO Complaint

Case Event History

Manufacturers, Distributors, Pharmacies Opioid Epidemic RICO Complaint

September 12, 2019

A very large multi-district litigation (MDL) case on opioids is currently working its way through the court system, with multiple complaints, long lists of defendants, and around 3,500 documents currently on file. The complaints bring suit against a group of manufacturers, marketers, distributors, national pharmacies, and pharmacy benefit managers, for creating or contributing to the opioid epidemic, with addictions and deaths across the US.

Manufacturers, Distributors, Pharmacies Opioid Epidemic RICO Complaint
Tags: Opioid Prescriptions, Opioids, Pharmaceuticals, RICO laws