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Government & Politics

DeWine's Suing the Opioid Makers But Not the Ohio Opioid Distributors


Ohio’s Republican attorney general this week sued five drug manufacturers, claiming they contributed to the state’s painkiller epidemic with false claims about their products' addiction and efficacy. The AGs office is not, however, committing to going after another major link in the pharmaceutical chain.

Drug distributors like Dublin-based Cardinal Health were noticeably absent from Mike DeWine’s lawsuit. Cardinal paid $20 million to settle a lawsuit by West Virginia officials who said Cardinal helped flood the market with pills that led to widespread abuse.

When asked if his office would go after Cardinal or other distributors, DeWine spokesman Dan Tierney repeatedly said DeWine is currently focused on the suit against drug makers. Tierney also said DeWine, who’s running for governor next year, has not been influenced by the more than $13,000 in campaign contributions he’s received from Cardinal since 2012.

A Cardinal statement says the company is committed to helping solve the opioid crisis through technology and prevention programs. A spokeswoman says Cardinal contributes to a lot of politicians -- and they do, including Democrats Joe Schiavoni, the state senator who's running for governor in 2018,