SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) - Spartanburg County has joined a growing list of municipalities in the state and nationwide that have sued pharmaceutical companies and pharmacies over the opioid epidemic.
A 132-page lawsuit filed Monday in Spartanburg County Court of Appeals names 37 defendants including big drug corporations like Purdue, the maker of OxyContin, Janssen, Eno, and Teva.
The suit also lists unidentified doctors and pharmacies, including Wal Mart, Rite Aid, and CVS.
The lawsuit claims Spartanburg County spends millions of dollars each year to cover costs related to the treatment, addictions, and overdoses of opioid painkillers, like Percocet and OxyContin.
One of the main complaints details defendants that have “manufactured, promoted, and marketed opioids for the long-term management of chronic pain.”
It goes on to state big pharma companies have reaped “blockbuster profits” through a “coordinated, sophisticated, and highly deceptive marketing campaign that began in the late 1990s” and “continues to the present.”
In February 2017, Spartanburg County Emergency Management Services, the Coroner’s office, and Sheriff’s Department publicly spoken about the effects of the opioid epidemic, in particular, the increasing use of Naloxone, an antidote that quickly revives someone who has stopped breathing after overdosing on painkillers and other opioids.
The lawsuit used the same statistic in making its case stating the number of times county personnel have administered Naloxone.
Records kept with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control show in 2015 the antedote was administered 311 times. The number increased to 454 in 2016.
The lawsuit continues to state that opioids generated $8 Billion in revenue for drug companies in 2012 and while they profited counties like Spartanburg County spend millions each year to combat this “public nuisance.”
The lawsuit seeks “unspecified punitive and actual damages.”
Greenville and Anderson Counties recently filed similar lawsuits.
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