New York City sues eight opioids producers, distributors

25 January, 2018, 02:11 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Grammys Hold Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for New York Townhouse With Mayor de Blasio, Neil Portnow

"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. "It needs a national solution".

New York City has filed a $500 million lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court against pharmaceutical companies including Stamford-headquartered Purdue Pharma in connection to the city's opioid crisis.

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 is claiming that opioid manufacturers have burdened the health and finances of New York's government by employing deceptive marketing to sell inordinate amounts of unsafe and addictive drugs to citizens. The Justice Department ramped up pressure on so-called sanctuary cities, like New York City, seeking public safety grant money, warning state and local officials they could be legally forced to prove they are cooperating with federal immigration authorities.

More than 90 Americans a day die of an opioid overdose, according to data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

According to the news release, the lawsuit, which was filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, alleges that the opioid crisis was caused by the deceptive marketing of drugmakers, and by distributors bringing large amounts of prescription painkillers into the NY market - all of which has caused the city to spend millions of dollars on substance abuse treatment programs, hospital services, emergency medical services, law enforcement, among other costs. Landrieu, the president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, called the meeting "untenable". Chicago sued Big Pharma in 2014, and several other cities have followed suit or are considering doing so. The suit is similar to others filed by hundreds of city, local and state governments around the nation. In the end four tobacco manufacturers were forced to pay out over $200 billion in settlements, and a similar scenario could play out for the now accused drug companies. Philadelphia and DE each filed lawsuits in recent days. At least two of the companies named in the suit - Janssen and Purdue Pharma - have already denied the accusations, so this litigation could certainly be a long, uphill battle that may not yield any dividends.

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