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Beshear Says AG's Office Drafting RFP For Help Prosecuting Big Pharma

Associated Press

Kentucky’s Attorney General is soliciting outside help to go after companies he believes have contributed to and profited from the state's opioid crisis.

At a press conference earlier Wednesday Andy Beshear said his office is sending out a Request for Proposal to law firms to represent the state in what promises to be a lengthy and expensive process.

Beshear said multiple lawsuits are planned naming pharmaceutical giant McKesson as one likely plaintiff, in addition to other companies and wholesalers.

Meanwhile, a top Republican lawmaker says Kentucky settled a lawsuit against a major prescription painkiller for "pennies on the dollar" to avoid an embarrassing conflict of interest for the state's Democratic attorney general.

The allegation from Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers came on the same day that Democratic Attorney General Beshear announced his intention to file up to 10 lawsuits against prescription painkiller manufacturers. Beshear accused Stivers of trying to politicize the opioid epidemic.

Former Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway settled Kentucky's case against OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma in December 2015 for $24 million just a few weeks before Beshear took office. Before becoming attorney general, Beshear previously worked for a law firm that represented Purdue Pharma in the case.

Conway said the settlement had nothing to do with Beshear.

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