JACKSON, Miss. — The state of Mississippi has filed a second lawsuit as part of its litigation efforts against opioid drug distributers, according to the state's Attorney General's Office.
The recently filed lawsuit against Cardinal Health Inc., McKesson Corporation and AmerisourceBergen Corporation alleges the companies did not take any action to "monitor, detect, investigate, refuse or report" questionable opioid orders that help contribute to the state's ongoing opioid addiction crisis. According to the Attorney General's Office, more than 3.3 million opioid prescriptions were filled in the state in 2017, which amounts to more than 500,000 "dosage units" every day.
“In 2017 alone Mississippi had enough opioids supplied to provide 61 pills for every man, woman, and child in the state,” Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood said in a statement. “If these distributors were attending to their supply rates, they would realize that the amount of pills is way too large for a state the size of Mississippi. These companies must own up to their contribution to this deadly crisis, and I intend on holding them fully accountable.
“These very distributors have been subjected to enforcement actions and fines by the DEA for hundreds of millions of dollars for previously allowing the diversion of opioids to occur, yet they failed to take meaningful action to stop it. “We will not allow them to continue getting away with this in Mississippi.”
The state filed its first opioid manufacturer lawsuit against five drug companies in 2015 in which two executives pleaded guilty to marketing opioids as "rarely addictive," Hood's office said.