The State AG Report Weekly Update September 13, 2018

Cozen in the News

Cozen O’Connor Examines Potential for Major Shift in Attorney General Enforcement Priorities in 2019

  • As the AG primary election season nears its end, focus now shifts to the November 6, 2018 general elections. With the possibility of between twelve and nineteen new AGs, there is potential for a dramatic alteration of the AG political landscape. The issues, styles, and political motivations of the newly elected AGs could result in a significant shift in AG enforcement priorities in virtually every industry.
  • Check out our latest article analyzing the potential for a major shift in 2019 AG enforcement priorities.
  • For daily coverage of AG election news, insights, and polls, visit Cozen O’Connor’s State AG Election Tracker.

2018 AG Elections

Delaware Holds 2018 Primary Elections

  • Delaware held primary elections on Thursday, September 6.
  • Democrat Kathy Jennings defeated three other candidates to secure her party’s nomination for the state’s open AG seat. Jennings is the former Chief Administrative Officer of New Castle County and previously served as Chief Deputy AG.
  • Jennings will face Republican nominee Bernard Pepukayi in the general election. Pepukayi, a longtime Democrat who switched parties to run for AG, is an attorney in private practice and previously served as deputy legal counsel to the Governor of Delaware, a deputy attorney general, and the County Attorney for New Castle County.

Rhode Island Holds 2018 Primary Elections

  • Rhode Island held primary elections on Wednesday, September 12.
  • Democrat Peter Neronha became the state’s only major-party candidate for AG after an uncontested primary and in the absence of any Republican candidates.
  • Neronha is the former U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island and previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and an Assistant AG in the Rhode Island AG’s office.
  • As previously reported, Democratic incumbent AG Peter Kilmartin, is term-limited.

Pharmaceuticals

Arizona Attorney General Sues Opioid Manufacturer for Allegedly Violating Consent Judgment Regarding Allegedly Deceptive Marketing of Prescription Opioids

  • Arizona AG Mark Brnovich filed a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers Purdue Pharma L.P., Purdue Pharma, Inc., and the Purdue Frederick Company, Inc. (collectively “Purdue Pharma”) for allegedly deceptively marketing certain prescription opioid products in violation of a 2007 consent judgment entered with the AG pursuant to the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act.
  • According to the AG’s application for order to show cause, Purdue Pharma allegedly violated the terms of the consent judgment by overstating the safety and effectiveness of opioids, marketing opioids as effective for chronic pain without scientific support, downplaying negative side effects of opioids, and minimizing addiction risks and the difficulties of preventing addiction.
  • The application seeks civil penalties, restitution, disgorgement, costs, and attorneys’ fees, among other things.

Colorado Attorney General Sues Opioid Manufacturer for Allegedly Misrepresenting Risks of Prescription Opioids

  • Colorado AG Cynthia Coffman filed a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers Purdue Pharma L.P. and Purdue Pharma, Inc. (collectively “Purdue Pharma”) for allegedly violating the Colorado Consumer Protection Act, as well as state public nuisance law, through their marketing and promotion of opioid products.
  • According to the complaint, Purdue Pharma allegedly downplayed the risk of addiction posed by prescription opioids, overstated the effectiveness of opioid treatment for chronic pain, exaggerated the efficacy of abuse-deterrent formulations of its opioid products, and sponsored allegedly misleading studies and marketing campaigns intended to persuade physicians to ignore risks associated with long-term opioid use, among other things.
  • The complaint seeks injunctive relief, restitution on behalf of persons allegedly injured by Purdue Pharma, disgorgement, civil penalties, nuisance abatement costs, litigation costs, and attorneys’ fees, among other things.

Maryland Attorney General Sues Opioid Manufacturer for Allegedly Deceptive Marketing of Prescription Opioid

  • Maryland AG Brian Frosh filed a lawsuit against pharmaceutical manufacturer and distributor Insys Therapeutics, Inc. (“Insys”) for allegedly violating the Maryland Consumer Protection Act by engaging in deceptive marketing, fraud, and commercial bribery to promote a prescription opioid product, Subsys.
  • According to the complaint, Insys allegedly marketed Subsys—a highly addictive fentanyl-based pain medication—for wider use by pain management providers who usually treat chronic pain patients, rather than merely to oncologists; attempted to pay doctors to prescribe the drug at higher doses and with higher frequency than appropriate; and falsified information about patients’ diagnoses and treatment histories to obtain payment from insurance companies for prescriptions of the drug.
  • The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief, restitution and disgorgement of all funds Insys received in connection with its allegedly illegal conduct, economic damages, investigative costs, and civil penalties, among other things.
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