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.
In its lawsuit, the city blamed the opioid crisis on deceptive marketing by drug manufacturers and the “flooding” of prescription painkillers by pharmaceutical distributors. The city claimed this created a “substantial burden” through increased medical, law enforcement and criminal justice costs.
In announcing the lawsuit, Mayor Bill de Blasio stated that more than 1,000 people in the city died in 2016 from opioid overdose, the highest recorded level, and that opioid overdoses took the lives of more New Yorkers than homicides and automobile accidents combined.
“Big Pharma helped to fuel this epidemic by deceptively peddling these dangerous drugs and hooking millions of Americans in exchange for profit,” de Blasio said. “It’s time to hold the companies accountable for what they’ve done to our city, and help save more lives.”
The manufacturers named in the lawsuit are Purdue Pharma LP; Purdue Pharma Inc.; The Purdue Frederick Co. Inc.; Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc.; Cephalon Inc.; Johnson& Johnson; Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc.; OrthoMcNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Janssen Pharmaceutica Inc. n/k/a Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Endo Health Solutions Inc.; Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Allergan PLC f/k/a Actavis PLC; Actavis, Inc. f/k/a Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Watson Laboratories Inc.; Actavis Pharma Inc. f/k/a Watson Pharma, Inc. The distributors named in the suit are McKesson Corp.; Cardinal Health Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Corporation.