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NYC Sues Huge Pharma for $500M Over Opioid Disaster

25 January 2018

"Big Pharma helped to fuel this epidemic by deceptively peddling these risky drugs and hooking millions of Americans in exchange for profit", New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a news release.

The city is not the first to take drug companies to court over the opioid crisis; it is represented by the law firm Simmons Hanly Conroy, which previous year filed similar lawsuits on behalf of several counties in New York State, including Suffolk County on Long Island.

"Big Pharma helped to fuel this epidemic by deceptively peddling these unsafe drugs and hooking millions of Americans in exchange for profit", de Blasio said.

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Consequently, via mayor Bill de Blasio, NYC is holding the distributing companies at fault for afflicting more than 1,100 opioid-induced deaths in the most populous USA city in 2016.

"More New Yorkers have died from opioid overdoses than vehicle crashes and homicides combined in recent years", said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The complaint, City of NY v Purdue Pharma LP et al, said the opioid crisis has had a serious impact on NYC, with the number of overdose deaths increasing in each of the last six years. Some of the companies mentioned in the city's lawsuit include Johnson & Johnson, Purdue Pharma, Teva and Cephalon. In turn, this allegedly has created a "substantial burden" on the city, the lawsuit states, because it has had to increase treatment services, law enforcement costs, medical examiner costs, and more, according to the release.

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In separate statements, the companies have either denied the allegations or emphasised the importance of using opioids safely.

More than 200 lawsuits against drug companies have been brought by local communities across the country, including those in California, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. The lawsuits have been consolidated into what is known as "multidistrict litigation", an approach taken when lawsuits of a similar nature are filed around the country. "New York City is where salsa was born; contrary to some other people's claims, New York City is where hip-hop was born; New York City is where the American punk music scene was born". New Jersey last October. The Obama administration also announced that it's loosening restrictions on a drug called buprenorphine used to ease addicts' cravings.

New York City said in its press release that roughly 2.5 million to 2.7 million opioid prescriptions were filled each year from 2014 to 2016.

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NYC Sues Huge Pharma for $500M Over Opioid Disaster