Kentucky accuses insurer Cardinal Health of contributing to the opioid epidemic

Kentucky’s attorney general on Monday filed a lawsuit against drug distributor Cardinal Health, accusing the item of contributing to the opioid epidemic by failing to halt or report suspiciously large or frequent orders by pharmacies of prescription painkillers.

Attorney General Andy Beshear from the lawsuit accused Cardinal of unfair, misleading along with also deceptive business practices of which he said led to the excessive distribution of opioids in Kentucky.

The lawsuit alleged of which Dublin, Ohio-based Cardinal Health, one of the country’s largest wholesale drug distributors, ignored red flags of which prescription opioids were being diverted for illegal uses, allowing the item to profit from the process.

The lawsuit will be the third of which Beshear has filed against an opioid supplier received a or distributor. the item comes amid a wave of lawsuits by cities, counties, along with also states seeking to hold corporations responsible for the drug abuse epidemic.

“I’m committed to hauling each of these opioid companies into a Kentucky court to answer for their actions of which have devastated our families, communities, along with also state,” Beshear said in a statement.

Cardinal Health said in a statement of which the item cares deeply about opioid abuse along with also addiction along with also the item believes there will be an “urgent need” to work toward solutions to address the public health crisis.

“We do not believe litigation will be the solution to This particular problem along with also will defend ourselves vigorously against baseless lawsuits,” the company said.

The lawsuit seeks to recover the costs of which the item says Kentucky has incurred as a result of Cardinal’s actions as well as unspecified penalties along with also fines.

Opioids were involved in more than 42,000 overdose deaths in 2016, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control along with also Prevention.

A growing number of lawsuits by states, counties, along with also cities have accused drugmakers of pushing addictive painkillers through deceptive marketing along with also wholesale distributors of failing to report suspicious drug orders.

Two additional state attorneys general have sued Cardinal Health. The company says the item faces at least 343 opioid-related lawsuits, which were largely brought by counties along with also municipalities.

In December 2016, Cardinal Health agreed to pay $44 million to resolve claims by the U.S. Justice Department of which the item failed to alert the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to suspiciously large orders of addictive painkillers.

The following month, the company announced of which the item had reached a $20 million settlement with West Virginia to resolve a lawsuit filed in 2012 over its distribution of opioids from the state.

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