28 Counties Sues Major Opioid Manufacturers For Cost Of Crisis

Nick Givas | Media And Politics Reporter

Twenty-eight Wisconsin counties sued five major drug manufactures Nov. 7, seeking to recover financial costs from battling the opioid crisis.

The lawsuit claims county services have been overwhelmed by the effects of the epidemic, and aims to reimburse local governments for any opioid related costs they’ve incurred, according to the Door County Pulse.

Law firms of Crueger Dickinson LLC and Simmons Hanly Conroy LLC filed the lawsuit on behalf of Door County and the others listed in the litigation.

Companies listed as the defendants include: Purdue Pharma, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, Cephalon and Endo Pharmaceuticals.

“Overdoses are just the tip of the iceberg, however, county governments are bearing the brunt of the cost of this crisis,” Erin Dickinson, law partner at Crueger Dickinson said at a press conference Nov. 7. “The crisis has overwhelmed county provided services and has had a devastating effect on the county’s ability to pay for those services.”

“Defendants must be held responsible for the devastating effects their actions have had both in Wisconsin and around the country,” she added. “The lawsuits filed today represent an important step towards addressing the opioid crisis in the state of Wisconsin, and they seek to hold the defendants responsible for their central role in causing this crisis.”

Purdue Pharma has come under fire recently for marketing and selling of the highly addictive drug Oxycontin, and have been a central player in the opioid crisis.

Purdue Pharma “vigorously” denied these allegations to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“We are deeply troubled by the opioid crisis and we are dedicated to being part of the solution,” a Purdue Pharma spokesperson said in an emailed statement to TheDCNF. ” As a company grounded in science, we must balance patient access to FDA-approved medicines, while working collaboratively to solve this public health challenge.”

The spokesperson added:

Although our products account for approximately 2% of the total opioid prescriptions, as a company, we’ve distributed the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, developed the first FDA-approved opioid medication with abuse-deterrent properties and partner with law enforcement to ensure access to naloxone.

The lawsuit come in the wake of other legal actions being taken against Purdue Pharma by Ohio‘s attorney general, the city of Indianapolis, Ind., and officials in Tennessee.

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