Tennessee attorney general files lawsuit against opioid maker

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The Tennessee Attorney General has filed a lawsuit in Knoxville to sue an opioid maker for unlawful and false claims about the safety and benefits of its opioid products. 

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slattery III sued Endo Pharmaceuticals and Endo Health Solutions Tuesday, alleging the company violated the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act and contributed to a public health crisis. 

The State’s 180-page complaint says Endo marketed its opioid products as being less addictive and more effective than others on the market. The complaint alleges Endo did so despite contrary evidence and evidence from the FBI that Opana ER, one of the company’s products, was being abused throughout Tennessee.

“Our Office has conducted an extensive investigation into Endo’s unlawful marketing practices which included targeting vulnerable populations like the elderly,” said Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III. “Endo has repeatedly refused to take responsibility for its unconscionable conduct, which is why we are taking this action.”

The Complaint alleges that Endo also knew the dangers of its opioid products, including increased risks of respiratory depression and death in elderly patients, and failed to clearly disclose those risks while it specifically targeted patients in that age group. 

The Attorney General requested the complaint be filed under a temporary seal because Endo claims the information produced during the State’s investigation is confidential. The order sealed by the judge allows the seal to expire in 10 days unless Endo acts to extend it. 

The Attorney General believes the complaint should be made available to the public in its entirety and efforts to keep it confidential will only prolong and diminish Endo’s accountability for its conduct.

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