Arkansas says drug makers at fault for deadly opioid crisis

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas officials say they are suing three drug manufacturers, claiming that their marketing led to an increase in opioid abuse that resulted in 401 deaths two years ago.

The lawsuit in Pulaski County Circuit Court names Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson and Endo Pharmaceuticals. The state claims they broke laws against deceptive trade practices and the filing of false Medicaid claims.

The state says the manufacturers misled people into believing opioids could be used as a non-addictive treatment for chronic pain.

Other states have filed their own lawsuits against drug companies while others are considering claims to cover multiple states.

Several Arkansas cities and counties filed a similar lawsuit last week.

Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals says it promoted its drugs responsibly and that the accusations are baseless.

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