COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is asking five drugmakers sued for their alleged role in the state's addictions epidemic to begin immediate settlement talks.

The Republican DeWine accuses the companies of intentionally misleading patients about the dangers of painkillers and promoting benefits of the drugs not backed by science.

DeWine's lawsuit earlier this year said the companies created a deadly mess in Ohio they now need to pay to clean up.

DeWine is a candidate for governor next year. He sent a letter to the drug companies Monday regarding settlement talks.

A message was left with the companies that have previously said DeWine failed to prove the their actions caused the alleged harm.