Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

New York Metropolis sues Large Pharma over the opioid epidemic

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. NYLJ New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. NYLJ
Nellie Chapman | 24 January, 2018, 11:39

New York City on Tuesday sued eight companies that make or distribute prescription opioids, blaming them for fueling a deadly epidemic afflicting the most populous US city.

In 2016, more than 1,000 people in the city died in a drug overdose which involved an opioid-the highest year-to-date rate, according to the administration.

"More New Yorkers have died from opioid overdoses than auto crashes and homicides combined in recent years", Blasio, a Democrat, said in a statement. "Big Pharma helped to fuel this epidemic by deceptively peddling these risky drugs and hooking millions of Americans in exchange for profit", de Blasio said. "It's time [to] hold the companies accountable for what they've done to our city and help save more lives".

The city is claiming that opioid manufacturers have burdened the health and finances of New York's government by employing deceptive marketing to sell inordinate amounts of unsafe and addictive drugs to citizens.

The defendants include Allergan, Johnson & Johnson, Purdue Pharma and Teva, and distributors such as AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson.

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio speaks to guests during the National Action Network (NAN) Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

New York City on Tuesday sued multiple drug companies alleging they played an instrumental role in creating what's become the deadly opioid epidemic.

McMahon also joined the mayor's announcement on Tuesday and described the opioid crisis on the Island as a "plague".

McKesson said it reports hundreds of thousands of suspicious orders to federal authorities each year and that "this complicated, multi-faceted public-health crisis can not be solved by any one participant", but needs to come from a comprehensive approach involving everyone from doctors to insurance companies to distributors and manufacturers.

The announcement marks the second time this month that the city has filed a lawsuit against big corporations to tackle public health and environmental issues.

"To stop so many more people from becoming addicted".

Goldin, 64, is circulating a petition, already signed by more than 6,000 people, demanding that Purdue Pharma and the family that owns it accept responsibility.

Endo said in a statement that, "It is Endo's policy not to comment on current litigation".

"Our industry and our company have and will continue to take meaningful action to reduce opioid abuse", it said, adding that it was supporting initiatives to educate doctors and develop non-opioid painkillers.

In its complaint filed in state court in Manhattan, New York accused manufacturers of having for two decades misled consumers into believing that prescription opioids were safe to treat chronic non-cancer pain, with minimal risk of addiction. Officials say that while drug overdose deaths impact every neighborhood and demographic in New York City, residents of impoverished neighborhoods are the hardest hit.