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Endo Facing Class Action over Opioid Marketing

Philadelphia, PA: A deceptive marketing class action lawsuit has been filed by the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers Health and Welfare Fund (PFTHWF) against Endo International PLC for allegedly fraudulently marketing its opioid painkiller as being safe and effective treatment for chronic pain.

According to the proposed lawsuit, Endo, which makes Opana ER and Percocet prescription opioid medications, has furthered the opioid crisis by spending millions of dollars a year advertising its painkillers for long-term use, while the plaintiffs claim, Endo had no proof that the use of these medications, as marketed, was effective. Further, the plaintiffs allege, Endo was aware that the medications are addictive.

“Despite well-recognized legal principles requiring Endo to be truthful and forthright in its representations regarding its pharmaceuticals, Endo has engaged in an intentional, decades-long pattern of deceptive and misrepresentative conduct that has impermissibly minimized the grave medical risks associated with utilizing opioids to treat long-term and/or chronic medical conditions,” the complaint states.

The PFTHWF alleges that between 2007 and 2013, Endo spent between $3 million and $10 million a quarter promoting its opioids, which also include Opana, Percodan and Zydone, for chronic conditions like aches and pains, headaches and backache.

The money was allegedly spent on traditional promotions like educational materials, advertisements and sending representatives to physicians, and also paying doctors to speak on its behalf to promote brand loyalty, paying doctors to write misleading studies, and swaying professional societies and patient-advocacy groups that are supposed to be neutral, according to the lawsuit.

In July 2017, following pressure from the US Food and Drug Administration, Endo pulled Opana ER from the market. The agency had claimed Opana ER was linked to abuse and a spike in injection-related diseases like HIV and hepatitis C.

The complaint alleges violations of the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, unjust enrichment, breach of implied warranties and civil conspiracy.
The health fund is represented by Sol H. Weiss, David S. Senoff, Hillary B. Weinstein and Clayton P. Flaherty of Anapol Weiss.

Plaintiffs are represented by Sol H. Weiss, David S. Senoff, Hillary B. Weinstein and Clayton P. Flaherty of Anapol Weiss.

The case is Philadelphia Federation of Teachers Health and Welfare Fund, et al, v. Endo International PLC et. al, case number unavailable, in the Court of Common Pleas Philadelphia County.

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Published on Sep-28-17


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