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NYC Is Now Suing Big Pharma For Causing U.S. Opioid Crisis

Big Pharma.Chris Potter/Flickr

It’s no secret that the U.S. is now experiencing an Opioid crisis, with coverage of the issue even making international headlines. The fact that pharmaceutical companies don’t appear to be too bothered by the harm that its legal drugs are causing is also well-known. Now, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is giving these companies cause to be concerned with a major lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, Mayor de Blasio is holding Big Pharma directly responsible for fueling the Opioid crisis, the New York Times reports. This is not the first time that the mayor of NYC is taking legal action against an entire industry, either, since he is also suing Big Oil for its huge role in making climate change the global threat that it is today.

In any case, the legal document pins many of the underlying problems that allowed the Opioid crisis to grow as much as it had on the companies making these drugs. Among the accusations that the lawsuit makes is the misrepresentation of these products as well as encouraging distributors to absolutely flood target cities with opioids.

The companies named in the lawsuit include Purdue Pharma, Teva, Cephalon, Johnson & Johnson, Janssen, Endo, Allergan, and Watson, which is a mix of both manufacturers and distributors. This isn’t the first time that a city actually sued entire industries over the harm that they caused with their products, either.

As Futurism reports, other cities and states have already taken legal action against Big Pharma. There are also examples in recent history that could play a role in how these procedures will go. In the 90s, for example, the tobacco industry was forced to make changes to how it markets its products following the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. If the NYC and other cities’ lawsuits pan out, the same changes could be seen in the pharmaceutical industry.

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