More Cities and Governments File Suit Against Prescription Opioid Manufacturers
November 2, 2017
Since Keller Rohrback, on behalf of the City of Tacoma, filed its suit September 13, 2017, against Purdue, Endo and Janssen — the three biggest manufacturers of prescription opioids in the United States — more municipalities and governments have also joined the fight to hold drug manufacturers accountable for the opioid health crisis.
In late September, attorneys for the City of Seattle and Washington State filed suits against the major drug makers. “Purdue has made billions of dollars by fueling Washington’s opioid epidemic by knowingly deceiving doctors and the public about the risks of long-term opioid use,” said state Attorney General Bob Ferguson at a press conference. There are more than 80 complaints now on file in courts across the country.
On October 26, 2017, the Trump administration declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control has categorized this crisis as an epidemic, and in a recent study it found that sales of opioids quadrupled between 1999 and 2010, and the percentage of people who took painkillers stronger than morphine jumped from 17 percent to 37 percent in the same period.
Keller Rohrback alleges that the jump in prescription rates is not a coincidence, but instead the result of a well-orchestrated and complex scheme by opioid drug manufacturers to promote opioid use despite little to no scientific evidence to back their claims.
For more information on this crisis, check out these stories:
The Family That Built an Empire on Pain (The New Yorker)
The Opioid Epidemic: A Crisis Years in the Making (New York Times, Oct. 26, 2017)
About the Epidemic (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services)
Opioid history: From ‘Wonder Drug’ to Abuse Epidemic (CNN, Oct. 14, 2016)