Teamsters Sue Drugmakers, Distributors, PBMs Over Opioids
Adding to the already numerous lawsuits, the Teamsters union sued opioid manufacturers, distributors and pharmacy benefit managers in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio over their alleged role in the addiction crisis.
In the lawsuit, filed on behalf of the union’s West Virginia and Ohio members, the Teamsters allege the entities coordinated to promote such opioids for long-term use despite numerous studies demonstrating their addictive and potentially fatal properties even at recommended dosages. The drugs have particularly devastated the union’s members, according to the lawsuit, as opioids are often prescribed to treat on-the-job injuries.
The lawsuit further accuses each category of defendant of playing individual roles in the misconduct. The drugmakers, the union claims, deliberately created a misleading perception of their products’ safety and efficacy for doctors and the public. The distributors, meanwhile, ignored their responsibilities and lobbied for higher thresholds before they were required to report potential drug diversion, while the PBM defendants “were well aware of the effect of their decisions about formulary placement [but] they chose to make decisions purely for their own financial gain,” the lawsuit claims.