COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Friday that evidence recently made public makes clear that drugmakers were responsible for the deadly opioid crisis and that they had lied about the addictiveness of their painkillers.
The Republican urged the companies to move quickly to settle pending lawsuits seeking to hold them accountable for the epidemic in light of troves of new documents made public because of those suits.
"With what's now public in the last two weeks about what these pharmaceutical companies have done, there can be no doubt in anyone's mind that they are responsible for this," DeWine said in a joint appearance at the Ohio Statehouse with U.S. drug czar Jim Carroll. "There is no doubt that they knew these drugs were addictive. There is no doubt that they lied to the public, that they lied to doctors."
Overdose deaths in the U.S. had been climbing each year since 1990, topping 70,000 in 2017 but are projected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to have fallen slightly in 2018.
Drugmakers and distributors say there is no evidence that they illegally pushed unnecessary prescriptions that led to a drug crisis, and they argue that doctors, regulators and illegal drug sales played roles in the epidemic.
DeWine was Ohio's attorney general when the state sued certain pharmaceutical companies over the opioid crisis. That case remains separate from the thousands of local government lawsuits consolidated under Judge Daniel Polster in Cleveland in which new information has been made public.
DeWine's comments Friday came at an event to highlight record usage of Ohio's prescription drug monitoring portal, an early national model for state tracking of the prescription painkillers at the heart of the deadly epidemic.
Carroll, the president's chief drug policy adviser, said federal data released in conjunction with the suits that showed how drugmakers and distributors increased shipments of opioid painkillers across the U.S. as the addiction crisis accelerated from 2006 to 2012 will be invaluable as governments continue to respond.
He said that the data's public release "is bringing light, publicly at least, to some of the harm that the pharmaceutical companies did in the past."
"It took us years to get here and, as the governor talked about, it's going to take us years to get out," he said.
DeWine said his comments Friday weren't about any particular suit, but he said he believes it's time for the drugmakers to settle.
"These drug companies now have nowhere to hide. The public knows what has happened," he said. "They should just come forward and try to settle this. That's what they need to do."
He said if they don't settle, the drug companies will begin to see "very heavy verdicts," as was the case with tobacco companies sued over the societal impacts of smoking.
俄亥俄州 COLUMBUS —俄亥俄州州长MikeDeWine 星期五说，最近公布的证据表明，制药商对致命的阿片类药物危机负有责任，他们谎称止痛药的成瘾性。
DeWine 在与美国药品沙皇 JimCarroll 的俄亥俄州统计局的一次联合露面中说：“在过去两周里，这些制药公司所做的事情已经公之于众，毫无疑问，任何人都会认为他们对此负有责任。”“毫无疑问，他们知道这些药物是上瘾的。毫无疑问，他们向公众撒谎，向医生撒谎。”
美国总统首席药物政策顾问卡罗尔( Carroll )说，联邦政府发布的数据与诉讼一起显示，随着2006年至2012年吸毒危机的加剧，制药商和分销商在美国各地增加了阿片类药物类止痛药的发货量，这将是非常宝贵的。