Pennsylvania County names 21 drug companies and 4 physicians in opioid epidemic lawsuit

York County, Pa., Solicitor Glenn Smith filed a lawsuit on Dec. 8 against 21 drugmakers and drug distributors, and four individual physicians for their alleged roles in contributing to widespread opioid use in the county, according to a report from the York Dispatch.

The lawsuit accuses the companies and the four out-of-state physicians of perpetuating falsehoods about the safety of opioid medications, including Oxycontin, fentanyl and Percocet. The suit — like dozens of others filed on behalf of local governments around the nation — seeks to recoup county funds expended on law enforcement, providing addiction treatment programs and conducting autopsies, among other expenses related to addressing the public health crisis.

"We believe the filing of this lawsuit is critical to ensure that York County's story is heard and the devastation it has endured — and will continue to endure — because of this opioid crisis is addressed by those responsible," said Mr. Smith at a Dec. 8 press conference, according to the York Dispatch.

Nineteen York County residents died of opioid-related overdoses in November. As of last week, the 2017 county total for opioid-related deaths was 93, which is 17 more than the total number of such deaths recorded by the county for 2016, according to the York Dispatch.

More articles on opioids: 
BCBS of Michigan to cap short-acting opioids at 5-day supply 
Nevada cardiologist arrested on 39 charges of unlawful opioid distribution, healthcare fraud 
Aetna to waive copays for opioid overdose antidote Narcan: 3 things to know

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