York County Latest To Sue Pharmaceutical Companies For Costs Related To Opioid Crisis
Last week York County solicitor Glenn Smith announced that the county is pursuing a civil lawsuit against twenty-one pharmaceutical companies and four out-of-state physicians for financial damages related to their roles in the opioid epidemic that has plagued the area for years.
The complaint, which is more than 250 pages, accuse companies such as Purdue Pharma of misleading the public about the risks of opioids. Other Pennsylvania counties have also filed similar lawsuits, including Armstrong, Beaver, Delaware, Greene, Lackawanna, Lawrence, Luzerne, and Washington. Westmoreland is preparing to file one, as well.
“York County has been one of the hardest-hit communities in the state facing the escalating cost of combating the opioid epidemic.”
According to Fox43, the lawsuit begins:
“This case is about one thing: corporate greed. Defendants put their desire for profits above the health and well-being of the York County consumers at the cost of Plaintiff.”
How much the county is seeking in damages has not been publicly disclosed, but Smith said that the lawsuit comes at no cost to the taxpayers. According to officials, the money will be used to increase treatment options for persons suffering from addiction and implement educational programs.
Recent estimates state there have been more than 90 heroin-related overdose deaths and 35 suspected deaths in the county this year.
Distributors typically deny these allegations, noting their efforts to prevent abuse and drug diversion. Still, the lawsuits are ongoing, and in September, more than forty state attorney generals announced that they had filed subpoenas to multiple opioid companies as part of an investigation into the opioid marketing and distribution practices, and their impact on the overall drug epidemic in the U.S.
The lawsuit will be handled by New York-based law firm Napoli Shkolnik PLLC and companies named include:
- Purdue Pharma L.P.
- Purdue Pharma Inc.
- The Purdue Pharma Frederick Company Inc.
- Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc.
- Cephalon Inc.
- Johnson and Johnson
- Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc.
- Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc.
- Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc.
- Allergan PLC
- Actavis Inc.
- Watson Laboratories Inc.
- Actavis LLC
- Actavis Pharma Inc.
- Endo Health Solutions Inc.
- Insys Therapeutics Inc.
- McKesson Corporation
- Cardinal Health Inc.
- AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation
- Russell Portenoy
- Perry Fine
- Scott Fishman
- Lynn Webster
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology