New York City Sues Drug Companies Over Opioid Epidemic

Posted January 25, 2018

'More New Yorkers have died from opioid overdoses than vehicle crashes and homicides combined in recent years, ' the Mayor said in a statement, blaming Big Pharma for fueling the epidemic. "It needs a national solution".

The manufacturers named in the lawsuit include Purdue Pharma, Teva, Cephalon, Johnson & Johnson, Janssen, Endo, Allergan, Watson and various subsidiaries, according to the news release.

A campaign donor pleaded guilty to trying to bribe Mayor Bill de Blasio in exchange for a lease renewal with favorable terms for his restaurant on city-owned property.

The city's lawsuit, filed in the State Supreme Court, claims that deceptive marketing and an excessive distribution of drugs in the NY market led to the city spending millions of dollars on hospital services, treatment programs, and other consequences.

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"More New Yorkers have died from opioid overdoses than vehicle crashes and homicides combined in recent years".

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.

"Allergan's two branded opioid products - Norco and Kadian - account for less than 0.08% of all opioid products prescribed in 2016 in the U.S. These products came to Allergan through legacy acquisitions and have not been promoted since 2012, in the case of Kadian, and since 2003, in the case of Norco", it said in a statement.

In addition to President Donald Trump's August 2017 declaring a national emergency on the deadly opioid epidemic in the States, New York City is now suing eight drug producers for fueling the fatal crisis.

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Trump has likewise been critical of his hometown mayor, previously calling de Blasio a "disaster" who was doing a "horrible job".

Kennedy applauded de Blasio's proactive approach and pointed out that 'Congress only appropriated $500 million this year to fight the opioid crisis.

First Lady Chirlane McCray, who leads the city's mental health and substance abuse efforts, said that through the lawsuit, the city "demands transparency and accountability from the nation's largest opioid manufacturers and distributors who have profited from people's pain".

De Blasio said he told Trump at the time that he was representing the people's' views on immigration, stop-and-frisk, and income inequality.

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