CHARLESTON — West Virginia’s attorney general has objected to the limitation of time West Virginia and others have to denounce flaws in the reorganization of bankrupt opioid maker Mallinckrodt LLC.
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said the current schedule gives the state insufficient time to review Mallinckrodt’s re-emergence plan and ensure any proposed payout reflects the intensity of the opioid epidemic in West Virginia.
“Allocation formulas largely based upon population ignore the devastation wrought by opioid abuse in West Virginia,” Morrisey said. “Our state deserves its fair share of any settlement, and that begins with ensuring our office has sufficient time to review Mallinckrodt’s plan.”
In March, a similar objection from Morrisey revealed publicly Purdue Pharma’s proposed bankruptcy plan will distribute settlement funds largely based on a government’s population and not the severity of the crisis. West Virginia is set to receive about 1% — about $81 million — as a result.
Mallinckrodt’s current plan gives states just 14 calendar days to review and object to the filings, which are expected to be voluminous and complex. Morrisey is asking for that to be doubled to 28 days.
West Virginia filed a lawsuit against Mallinckrodt in 2019 stating it contributed to the crisis by individuals engaging in strategic campaigns to deceive prescribers and misrepresent the risks and benefits of opioid painkillers.
The lawsuit further contends Mallinckrodt mischaracterized and failed to disclose the serious risk of addiction, overstated the benefits of chronic opioid therapy and promoted higher dosage amounts without disclosing inherently greater risks.
The Attorney General’s lawsuit also cites emails alleging Mallinckrodt officials ignored warnings of abuse and trained its sales team to push doctors to prescribe stronger doses of opioids.