Northwest Montana News

Northwest Montana News

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Montana AG brings lawsuit against McKesson, Cardinal Health, alleging companies contribute to opioid epidemic

Business

By Terry Davis | Feb 25, 2020

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The HRSA issued a new final rule affecting entities in the 340B Program | Photo by DodgertonSkillhause at Morguefile.com

Montana attorney general Tim Fox has brought a lawsuit against two of the largest distributors of opioids for the alleged crime of facilitating drug overdoses. 

The lawsuit said McKesson Corporation and Cardinal Health Inc. shipped more than 60 percent of the opioids going into the state from 2006-2014

"The increased volume of opioid prescribing and distribution correlates directly to skyrocketing addiction, overdose and death," Fox said.

Fox criticized the polices of the companies regarding their distribution practices of painkilling drugs such as oxycodone, oxycontin, and certain forms of fentanyl, Montana Public Radio reported.

The lawsuit covers a window of nine years, during which time "McKesson and Cardinal Health distributed over 432 million opioid pills in Montana.” Fox said.

Sunny Rodriguez, McKesson's senior manager of corporate public relations, spoke out against the lawsuit.

“Our company plays an important but limited role in the pharmaceutical supply chain, and any suggestion that McKesson drove demand for opioids in this country reflects a fundamental misunderstanding and mischaracterization of our role as a distributor,” Rodriguez said. “We will continue to fight that mischaracterization and defend ourselves in the litigation.”

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