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City of Chicago sues over painkiller marketing

Published: Tuesday, June 3, 2014 12:19 p.m. CST

CHICAGO — The city of Chicago has filed a lawsuit accusing five drugmakers of deceptively marketing a class of prescription painkiller that can be highly addictive.

The state lawsuit was filed Monday in Cook County Circuit Court. It alleges the companies' marketing of opioids for long-term use to treat non-cancer pain was false, misleading and unsupported by science.

It's similar to a lawsuit filed by two California counties last month. Both lawsuits name Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Purdue Pharma, Actavis, Endo Health Solutions Inc., and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries' Cephalon Inc.

A Purdue spokesman says the company hasn't received the complaint and has no comment. A Janssen spokeswoman says the company is committed to ethical business practices and responsible promotion of its medications. The other defendants haven't responded to requests for comment.

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