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Ohio Wants To Hold Drug Companies Responsible For The Opioid Epidemic

Ohio has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic, and now it wants to hold drug companies responsible.

Ohio's Attorney General Mike DeWine filed suit against five drug companies he says are responsible for the drug addiction crisis because they misled consumers.

The suit names Purdue Pharma, Endo Health Solutions, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Allergan — the five largest makers of opiates.

SEE MORE: We Might Be Underestimating Opioid-Related Deaths In The US

DeWine said the drugmakers "led prescribers to believe opioids were not addictive, that addiction was an easy thing to overcome, or that addiction could actually be treated by taking even more opioids. They knew they were wrong, but they did it anyway — and they continue to do it."

But the companies are disputing that they're responsible for the problem. 

A Janssen Pharmaceutical spokeswoman said the company "acted appropriately, responsibly and in the best interests of patients regarding our opioid pain medications."

People who take prescription painkillers can get addicted, and some turn to drugs like heroin when their prescriptions run out. More than 4,000 people reportedly died from opioid overdoses in Ohio in 2016.

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