The city of New Orleans is joining many other communities around the nation in suing pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors of opioids, the drug blamed for well over 70,000 overdose deaths nationwide last year alone.
"The opioid epidemic has taken more from our people than even gun violence has. We are taking this step and pursuing litigation because our people have been harmed," said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. "We are going to do everything in our power to insist those who have profited from creating this crisis play a major role in addressing the costs to fix it. Addiction has had a terrible impact on the lives of our residents, and the wraparound services that are so desperately needed come at a cost."
There were 166 accidental opiate-related drug overdoses in Orleans Parish in 2017.
“This legal action is part of a multifaceted approach by our Mayor to fight the opioid crisis, with part of that approach being to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for their actions in misleading medical professionals, patients and the public on the inherent risks associated with opioid drugs,” added City Attorney Sunni LeBeouf.
“Like many other cities, New Orleans is in the grips of an opioid-addiction crisis. Deaths from overdoses are still rising and now outpace murders as one of the leading killers in New Orleans. To save lives, we need to use every tool available to our city. I stand with Mayor Cantrell to take action against the makers of prescription drugs for insufficiently warning about the extreme dangers of prescription opioids. This is a powerful step to hold accountable those who helped begin this tragic scenario. While these companies have profited, our community has been burdened with a terrible cost – both human and financial,” said Councilmember-At-Large Helena Moreno.
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