Across the country municipalities, states, cities, counties, and even tribal nations are taking legal action against opioid distributors and in some cases, manufacturers for causing the opioid epidemic. Similar to the successful lawsuits launched against tobacco companies decades ago, they seek compensation for tremendous societal costs such as increased healthcare costs, emergency medical services, rehabilitation and law enforcement to name just a few areas.
Helping Communities File Municipal Opioid Lawsuits
We have decades of experience successfully representing government entities including municipalities, counties and States, and we are ready to help you now.
Together we can hold big pharma responsible for:
- Failing to report large, inconsistent and suspicious opiate drug orders
- Advertising false benefits and safety of opiate medication.
- Misrepresenting the dangers and addictive quality of long-term opiate use.
- Employing fake third parties to endorse prescription opioid drugs.
Distributors Failed to Report Suspicious Opiate Drug Orders
Claims against these giant drug distributors McKesson, Amerisource Bergen, and Cardinal Health claim that they failed to report suspicious prescription opiate orders. Under Federal law, controlled substance distributors have a duty to report suspicious orders made by pharmacies, hospitals, doctors’ offices, and clinics.
However, in violation of federal law, the wholesale distributors have a history of not reporting orders that are obviously suspicious because of their size and inconsistency with previous orders. These cities, counties, municipalities, and government entities are seeking compensation for the role the distributors played in the opiate addiction crisis across the country and subsequent healthcare costs states and counties have had to absorb because of it.
Common Opiate Drugs
Statistics show that many opiate addictions start with a prescription drug. Some of the most common prescription opioids in the United States are listed below.
- Oxycodone: Branded OxyContin, Oxecta, Roxicet, Roxicodone, Targiniq ER, Percocet, Endocet
- Fentanyl: Branded Fentora, Actiq, Duragesic
- Methadone: Branded Dolophine, Methadose
- Hydrocodone: Branded Vicodin, Zohydro ER, Lorcet, Hysingla ER, Norco
- Morphine: Branded MS Contin, Astramorph, Kadian, Ora-Morph SR, Avinza
- Meperidine: Branded Demerol
Human & Capital Cost of the Opioid Epidemic
The opioid epidemic was responsible for 33,091 deaths in 2015 alone according to the Center for Disease Control. The CDC also reports that overdose deaths have quadrupled since 1999. States with the highest rate of overdose deaths in 2015 include West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.
The rise in opiate prescription drug use and abuse started in the 1990’s when large pharmaceutical companies employed illegal marketing tactics. Heavily marketed drugs include Oxycontin, Vicodin, and Percocet.
“The number of prescriptions for opioids (like hydrocodone and oxycodone products) have escalated from around 76 million in 1991 to nearly 207 million in 2013, with the United States their biggest consumer globally, accounting for almost 100 percent of the world total for hydrocodone (e.g. Vicodin), and 81 percent for oxycodone (e. g., Percocet).”
Plaintiffs in Current Opioid Lawsuits
- State of Ohio
- The County of Santa Clara, California
- Orange County, California
- The Cherokee Nation
- City of Everett, Washington
- Broome County, New York
- Suffolk County, NY
- Eerie County, New York
- Dutchess County, NY
Why are the Distributors Allegedly Negligent?
According to 21 Code of Federal Regulations 1301.74(b) a suspicious order that opiate distributors have a duty to report include “orders of unusual size, orders deviating substantially from a normal pattern, and orders of unusual frequency.” 21 C.F.R. § 1301.74(b).
SOURCE: Ohio Attorney General court filing.
Legal Counsel for Government Entities & Communities
Let us help protect your community from further opioid atrocities. We can help your state, county, city, or tribal nation get the compensation they need from negligent prescription opioid manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. Get started online now.
- Drug Overdose Death Data, CDC Injury Center. Center for Disease Control, retrieved August 2017: https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/statedeaths.html
- State Drug Lawsuit Comes on Heels of Litigation, The Oklahoman. July 1, 2017. Retrieved August 2017: http://newsok.com/article/5554829
- America’s Addiction to Opioids: Heroin and Prescription Drug, National Institute of Drug Abuse. May 14, 2014. Retrieved August 2017 from: https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/legislative-activities/testimony-to-congress/2016/americas-addiction-to-opioids-heroin-prescription-drug-abuse#_ftn5
- Attorney General of Ohio Court Filing, May 31, 2017. Retrieved August 2017: http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Files/Briefing-Room/News-Releases/Consumer-Protection/2017-05-31-Final-Complaint-with-Sig-Page.aspx
- Lawsuit Against Pharmaceuticals Effective Weapon in War Against Prescription Opioids. Orange County Register, June 8, 2017. Retrieved August 2017: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/06/08/cavalry-coming-in-war-against-prescription-opioid-epidemic/