The U.S. is in the grip of an opioid crisis which has significant economic and social costs. Individuals have lost their lives, jobs, and homes due to opioid addiction issues. Communities have been affected by rising prescription costs, drug addiction treatment costs, unemployment, homelessness, child welfare concerns, and increased law enforcement burdens. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 40 Americans die each day from prescription opioid overdoses, and in 2013, the economic cost of the opioid crisis to the national economy was $78.5 billion (a figure which is undoubtedly higher today).
Our Firm represents several New York area labor health and welfare benefit funds in litigation that seeks to hold accountable some of those responsible for the opioid epidemic, including major pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors such as Purdue Pharma L.P., Purdue Pharma, Inc., The Purdue Frederick Company, Inc., Mallinckrodt PLC, Mallinckrodt LLC, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries, Ltd., Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., Cephalon, Inc., Watson Laboratories, Inc., Actavis LLC, Actavis Pharma, Inc., Endo Health Solutions Inc., Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Allergan PLC f/k/a Actavis PLS, McKesson Corporation, Amerisource Bergen Drug Company, Cardinal Health, Inc., and Cardinal Health subsidiary The Harvard Drug Group, LLC (“Defendants”).
The allegations against Defendants state that, as manufacturers and marketers of opioids to the public, they are responsible for contributing to the opioid epidemic through a variety of actions, including downplaying the risks of addiction from prescription opioids, advising that signs of opioid addiction should be treated with more opioids, making false representations as to how opioid addiction could be avoided and managed, denying the risks of higher opioid dosages, and falsely touting the benefits of long-term opioid use. As a result of these actions, the plaintiffs allege that they have incurred burdensome costs, in relation to their members, for (largely ineffective) opioid prescriptions, treatments, and other related health expenses.