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Opioid Crisis

Tackling the Opioid Crisis: Seif & McNamee Chosen to Represent Counties Vs Opioid Distributors

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Seif and McNamee was chosen as one of a few elite law firms to represent Counties and citizens of Ohio as local counsel in litigation against pharmaceutical wholesale distributors as well as manufacturers.

The movement will be spearheaded by lead counsel Paul Farrell
Jr., recognized as a premier trial lawyer in the field of medical malpractice,
making some thirty appearances before the West Virginia Supreme Court. The
claims: a failure to report suspicious orders on behalf of counties.

These suits are targeting the heart of the opioid crisis in
these communities by going straight to distributors and manufacturers. Each
complaint details claims of public nuisance, Corrupt Practices Act violations,
and negligence. AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp., Cardinal Health Inc., and
McKesson Corp, are the distributors that will answer to these claims in Federal
Court, while Purdue Pharma
LP, Teva Pharmaceuticals and Cephalon are the manufacturers.

Drug overdoses are one of the leading causes of death for
Americans under 50, and the numbers are rising at alarming rate. Opioids are
considered a major contributor. In Ohio, the claims were brought forth by ten
heavily affected counties in the region. The counties we represent as local
counsel include Pike, Ross, Jackson, Lawrence, Gallia, Hocking, Vinton, and
Guernsey counties. As a national movement, as of this time, there are 83
government entities, cities and counties, involved. The suit claims the
companies have “universally
failed to comply with federal law”.

The problem isn’t limited to the aggressive way these companies
peddled opioids to doctors, but rather that they have downplayed – in some
cases failing to disclose at all – the dangerous and addictive nature of these
drugs. They have downplayed the serious risk of addiction and promoted the
concept of “pseudoaddiction”, recommending that the signs of addiction should
be treated with more opioids. They also exaggerated the effectiveness of
screening tools in preventing addiction while claiming that opioid dependence and
withdrawal are easily managed. They have denied the risks of higher opioid
dosages and exaggerated the effectiveness of “abuse-deterrent” opioid
formulations to prevent abuse and addiction.

AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp., Cardinal Health Inc., and McKesson
Corp. are mass distributors of hydrocodone and oxycodone. They are required
under the federal Controlled Substances Act to report unusual activity in
product orders. Allegedly, these companies neglected the extreme gaps of
prescriptions issued relative to the population size in these areas. Their
failure to act as has led to the current lawsuit.

One of the complaints states: “Plaintiff has reason to believe each has engaged in unlawful
conduct which resulted in the diversion of prescription opioids into our
community and that discovery will likely reveal others who also engaged in
unlawful conduct… Plaintiff names each of the ‘big three’ herein as defendants
and places the industry on notice that the citizens of Ross County are taking
action to abate the public nuisance plaguing our community.”

For more information, contact Seif & McNamee at 740-947-7277 .

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