Ohio attorney general sues 5 drugmakers over opiate crisis

Ohio attorney general sues 5 drugmakers over opiate crisis

COLUMBUS, OH (AP) - The Ohio attorney general is suing five drugmakers that he says are perpetrating the state's addictions epidemic.

Attorney General Mike DeWine accuses the companies of intentionally misleading patients about the dangers of painkillers and promoting benefits of the drugs not backed by science.

DeWine announced the complaint Wednesday as he accused the companies of creating a deadly mess in Ohio that they now need to pay to clean up.

A record 3,050 Ohioans died from drug overdoses in 2015, a figure expected to jump sharply once 2016 figures are tallied.

One of the deaths was Christina Arrendondo's daughter.

"She had no intention of growing up, saying 'I want to be an addict,'" Arrendondo said.

DeWine says the drug companies must share some of blame for the opioid crisis in Ohio.

"We think it's a case of deception. These companies have gone a long way to make this mess in Ohio. All the people who have died and all the people who have suffered," DeWine said. "They established so-called  independent third party organizations. But they were paying for them, they were funding them. These third party groups went out and said it's not very addictive."

The lawsuits alleged a large portion of those addicted to heroin in Ohio started with prescription painkillers.

DeWine, a Republican, is expected to run for governor next year. However, he says the lawsuit has nothing to do with politics.

"Look, I'm making this decision, all of it was my decision," DeWine said. "And I made it because it's in the best interest of the state of Ohio."

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