Officials in Indianapolis are launching a lawsuit against several of the country’s largest manufacturers of painkillers, alleging reckless marketing igniting the addiction epidemic.
Mayor Joe Hogsett filed the lawsuit Tuesday, which targets OxyContin makers Purdue Pharma, Teva, Endo Pharmaceuticals and Mallinckrodt. The lawsuit pins responsibility for the current opioid epidemic gripping the city on these drug makers and their distributors, who they allege used knowingly false advertising to downplay the risks of addition from their drugs in pursuit of “blockbuster profits,” reports IndyStar.
They also claim the companies failed to “identify, report and stop suspicious orders” of opioid painkillers into Marion County, which has the highest number of opioid overdose deaths in all of Indiana. Hogsett did not issue a statement Tuesday due to the pending litigation
“Opioids are killing Americans,” Hogsett said in October during preliminary discussions for the lawsuit, according to IndyStar. “Opioids are killing Hoosiers. Opioids are killing our neighbors right here throughout the city of Indianapolis.”
Indianapolis officials are also seeking damages from the companies for the public cost of the opioid crisis, which is draining the city’s resources. The city is currently planning to hire more police officers and firefighters due to the number of overdoses across Indianapolis, and may spend more than half a billion dollars on a new jail and treatment center for residents addicted to opioids.
Lawsuits are mounting against the largest drug makers in the country for their alleged complicity in sparking the opioid crisis through dishonest advertising. Indianapolis is one of more than 75 cities and states currently suing pharmaceutical companies.
The pharmaceutical companies deny wrongdoing, and say they are committed to working with the government to solve the opioid epidemic.
“We are deeply troubled by the opioid crisis and we are dedicated to being part of the solution,” a spokesman for Purdue Pharma previously told The Daily Caller News Foundation in response to a lawsuit filed by the attorney general of New Jersey. “We vigorously deny these allegations and look forward to the opportunity to present our defense.”
President Donald Trump declared the opioid epidemic a “public health emergency” Oct. 26, giving states hit hard by opioid addiction flexibility on how they direct federal resources to combat rising drug deaths.
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