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Toledo joins list of cities suing drugmakers over opioids

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Associated Press

TOLEDO

Ohio’s fourth-largest city is joining several cities and counties around the state by filing its own lawsuit against prescription drugmakers and distributors.

Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson said Monday that drug companies need to be held accountable for their role in the opioid abuse crisis.

The lawsuits being filed by Toledo and other places accuse the drug companies of intentionally misleading the public about the dangers of opioids.

The companies have denied wrongdoing in response to similar lawsuits filed around the country.

Toledo’s mayor says the city has spent more than $400,000 for firefighters to respond to opioid-related emergency calls this year.

In addition to Toledo, the state of New Jersey filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the company that manufactures OxyContin, claiming a “direct link” between the state’s opioid crisis and the firm’s deceptive marketing practices.

State Attorney General Christopher Porrino says the five-count lawsuit against Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma and two of its entities seeks undisclosed monetary damages for fraud and false claims.

Purdue Pharma issued a statement saying it “vigorously denies” the allegations. The company said it’s deeply troubled by the opioid crisis and is dedicated to being part of the solution.

“As a company grounded in science, we must balance patient access to FDA-approved medicines, while working collaboratively to solve this public-health challenge,” it said.