Thursday, June 08, 2017
Monticello, NY – Sullivan County has formally filed suit against a range of pharmaceutical companies, asking the courts to punish these firms for engaging in practices that the County (and multiple other municipalities) argue have worsened the prescription opioid abuse epidemic simply for profit’s sake.
“While we can’t bring back those who have lost their lives as a result of drug abuse,” says Legislator Alan Sorensen, who originally urged his colleagues to undertake this action, “we can hold these companies accountable for their predatory practices in promoting addictive substances to consumers.”
Joining other New York State counties who agree that large pharmaceutical manufacturers have pursued profits at the expense of taxpayers, the healthcare system and patients seeking pain relief, Sullivan County is seeking to recoup alleged damages from these companies, along with penalties and fines that would punish them and serve as an inducement to change their drug production, distribution and marketing practices.
“Through deceptive means and false advertising, pharmaceutical producers have acted recklessly and negligently against Sullivan County citizens,” argues Legislature Chairman Luis Alvarez. “We cannot stand by as our residents – from young people to seniors – are misled into taking prescriptions that do them more harm than good.”
“Make no mistake: Sullivan County is serious about combating the too-often lethal effects of overprescribed opioids,” agrees Legislator Nadia Rajsz, chair of the Health & Family Services Committee. “We intend to send a strong message that our citizens’ lives matter far more than these manufacturers’ bottom line.”
“This is one of several initiatives Sullivan County is taking to address the opioid abuse epidemic faced here and throughout the nation,” Sullivan County Manager Josh Potosek adds. “This action will not cost taxpayers anything further, but it is another sign of our aggressive approach to curbing the scourge of addiction in our communities.”
The full complaint can be found on the County’s website at http://webapps.co.sullivan.ny.us/docs/cmgr/pr/y_2017_m_06_d_08-Summons-and-Complaint.pdf.