Chicago, the third-biggest U.S. city, sued Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and four other drug companies, including Israel-based Teva Pharmaceuticals, for allegedly pushing consumer use of opioid painkillers, creating addicts and driving up its costs.
Teva Pharmaceuticals is being sued for the painkiller Percodan, and the other drug makers mentioned in the suit are Purdue Pharma which makes OxyContin and Endo Health Solutions which produce Percoset.
“Since 2007, the city has paid for nearly 400,000 claims for opioid prescription fills, costing nearly $9,500,000, and suffered additional damages for the costs of providing and using opiates long-term to treat chronic non-cancer pain,” lawyers for the municipality claimed in a state court complaint filed in Chicago.
The lawyers accused the drug companies of deceiving the public about the risks associated with the use of painkillers including Duragesic, made by Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharma ceuticals unit, while overstating their benefits. In May, two California counties made similar accusations in a lawsuit against the same drugmakers.
More than 12 million people in the United States abuse prescription painkillers annually, according to a study published March 3 in JAMA Internal Medicine.