Three municipalities have sued a group of 11 pharmaceutical companies claiming towns and cities in Pennsylvania have suffered 'a public health and safety crisis' as a result of the defendants’ alleged misrepresentation of their opioid medications.
Three municipalities have sued a group of 11 pharmaceutical companies claiming towns and cities in Pennsylvania have suffered “a public health and safety crisis” as a result of the defendants’ alleged misrepresentation of their opioid medications. According to the complaint, the pharma companies began marketing highly addictive opioid drugs for the treatment of chronic pain despite “the overwhelming weight of medical and scientific authority” warning against the risks associated with long-term use of the drugs.
“While opioids provide effective treatment for short-term, post-surgical and trauma-related pain, the Defendants have manufactured, promoted and marketed the opioids for management of chronic pain and/or long-term use by misleading consumers and providers regarding their appropriate use,” the complaint explains.
The defendants’ misrepresentations have caused an “epidemic” of opioid abuse, the case claims, resulting in “a lack of economic productivity and diminished quality of life” in Pennsylvania’s cities and townships.
The lawsuit seeks to repay municipalities such as the plaintiffs for the expenses they incurred in response to the opioid crisis, including:
paying expenses covered under city employees’ health plans, including the cost of prescription opioids and treatment associated with opioid abuse;
covering the increased cost of providing medical services, such as responding to opioid-related emergencies;
paying law enforcement authorities; and
funding the operation of social and health agencies associated with responding to the opioid crisis.
On top of the alleged damages, the case asks the court to prohibit the defendants from continuing to market prescription opioids for long-term use.
The suit has recently been removed from state court to the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.