After reaching a $270 million settlement with Purdue Pharma last week, Oklahoma’s Attorney General Mike Hunter dropped multiple claims on Thursday from a lawsuit against other drug manufacturers.
In a press release, the Office of the Attorney General noted that the dismissal of the claims allows more focus to be drawn to the central issue: the public nuisance caused from fraudulent drug marketing.
Oklahoma’s lawsuit with major pharmaceutical companies such as Purdue Pharma, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and Johnson & Johnson is one of many that other state attorneys general have filed. The case is part of the states’ efforts to combat their state opioid crisis, citing drug manufacturers at fault.
While originally more broad, Hunter’s office filed a notice of voluntary dismissal to refocus the case. The motion specifically dismissed the claims of fraud and deceit, unjust enrichment as well as violations of the state’s Medicaid laws for all defendants. By only pursuing the claim of public nuisance, Hunter argues that the state can more narrowly address the opioid crisis. Additionally, the removal of the claims prevents the pharmaceutical companies from additional stall tactics.
According to Hunter, removing these claims do not limit the amount of damages Oklahoma is seeking against the companies nor restrict the state from pursuing them in the future.