Hernando county has filed a lawsuit against drug manufacturers and distributors who they say are responsible for creating the opioid epidemic.
County officials announced Wednesday they had filed a suit against the nation’s largest pharmaceutical companies. The county says those companies played a role in creating a widespread diversion of prescription opiates for nonmedical purposes.
In a news release, county officials said they have struggled to manage the costs associated with the rising rate of opioid abuse. They also say drug poisoning and opioid-related deaths have significantly impacted their community in recent years. Increased criminal activity, law enforcement expenses and major public health concerns are other results of opioid abuse, according to the county.
“Holding these companies accountable for their actions is a big step in the battle of this opioid epidemic,” said Deputy County Attorney Jon Jouben. “We cannot simply sit back and let the greed of these drug companies continue to devastate our communities. Our team is doing what we can to put a stop to this crisis.”
The lawsuit accuses America’s largest drug manufacturers of pushing highly addictive and dangerous opioids. It also alleges they deliberately misinformed doctors by telling them patients using the drugs rarely experienced addiction.