After years of bickering, Kentucky has settled separate lawsuits that accused different drug makers – Johnson & Johnson and Purdue Pharma — of misleading consumers about their risks of two widely prescribed medicines. All totaled, the state settled the two claims for nearly $40 million.
“These companies engaged in reckless behavior that put our citizens at risk,” Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway said in a statement. “Both companies knowingly and aggressively marketed drugs they knew to be harmful in order to drive profits.”
In one case, the state alleged Purdue illegally concealed that OxyContin is highly addictive while encouraging physicians — who were not trained in pain management — to overprescribe the pain reliever. The state claims the company caused some citizens to become addicts and, as a result, state programs paid for some prescriptions inappropriately.