Williamson County in Texas has filed a lawsuit against manufacturers, distributors, and retails of pharmaceutical opioids for negligence and fraudulent marketing of products.
The county’s lawsuit states that they have and continue to spend “large sums combating the public health crisis.” The suit was filed against Purdue Pharma LP, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Johnson & Johnson, Endo Health Solutions, Abbott Laboratories, Knoll Pharmaceutical, and other manufacturers as well as retailers such as CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart.
Arguing that these companies have caused harm and death to residents for their role in opioid production and distribution, Williamson County is asking for damages more than $1 million and less than $100 million.
The county says that opioid use and addiction has raised health care costs and has affected the child protection agencies due to the influx of children with parents dealing with opioid addiction entering foster care.
Williamson County is not the first part of Texas to sue Big Pharma. Not only have other counties, such as Travis County which filed a lawsuit in February last year, but the State of Texas has personally sued Pursue Pharma for their prescriptions of opioids.
Every day, more than 130 people in the U.S. die after overdosing on opioids, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the total “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year. The Midwestern region has seen the worst of the opioid epidemic, with opioid overdoses rising 70 percent from July 2016 to September 2017.