TEXAS, USA — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that his office filed a civil Medicaid fraud lawsuit against two pharmaceutical companies for using the opioid drug, Duragesic.

Pharmaceutical manufacturer Johnson & Johnson, and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. are said to have delivered false messages about their fentanyl opioid drug to doctors in Texas.

Sales representatives allegedly told doctors Duragesic had fewer side effects, worked better and posed less risk of addiction than other opioids.

“In this case, Johnson & Johnson not only defrauded Texas taxpayers and diverted precious healthcare dollars from Texans in need, they contributed to the opioid crisis that has destroyed the lives of an untold number of Texas families," said Attorney General Paxton.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids were involved in 33,091 deaths in 2015, including 1,174 in Texas. Opioid overdoses in the U.S. have quadrupled since 1999.

You can find more information on opioids on the Texas Attorney General’s webpage.