Clermont County Sues the Companies that Distributed Millions of Painkillers in Ohio

Jul 14, 2017

Clermont County Commissioner David Painter cited the Controlled Substance Act of 1970 when talking about the suit.
Credit ShutterShock / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Ohio's attorney general filed suit in June against five pharmaceutical manufacturers over the state's opioid epidemic. Now, Clermont County in southwest Ohio has announced it's filing its own suit. But there is a difference between the two legal arguments.

Commissioner David Painter says Clermont County has retained a West Virginia law firm to hold drug distributors accountable for the opioid epidemic. He says those companies failed to stop sending prescription painkillers to the region when it became apparent there was a problem.

"We believe the manufacturers created prescription drugs such as oxycodone and oxycontin  in accordance with federal law, and the Controlled Substance Act of 1970 provided that closed system whereby the distributors were supposed to be the watchdogs for the federal government."

Painter says three companies, Cardinal Health, McKesson, and Amerisource Bergen, distribute 85 percent of the drugs in the country and that's who Clermont County is suing.