New Details About Oklahoma County's Plan To Sue Opioid Manufacturers
Oklahoma County is expected to file a petition in the coming days suing opioid manufacturers and producers.
Today we are learning more about how the county plans to do that. But how much the county is asking for remains a mystery.
“That will be based on expert analysis of the cost of abatement of the opioid crisis as well as the damages the different communities have suffered.” said Matthew Sill, an attorney for Oklahoma County.
County commissioners say the impact of the opioid crisis to Oklahoma County is over 20-million dollars.
The county plans to follow the lead of the state on this one.
The state argued Johnson and Johnson created a public nuisance by aggressively promoting opioids to doctors.
“Primarily in the 90s and leading up to today large drug companies have mislead the medical community and mislead patients about the addictive nature of opioids which is led to an epidemic of opioid addiction and dependence.” Sill said.
But we’ve known opioids are addictive since the 16th century. We asked attorney Matthew Sill, how could doctors have been so easily conned?
“Doctors were taught by a salesforce of the tens of thousands of pharmaceutical sales reps and tens of millions of dollars to re-educate doctor so to speak and the levels of addiction they previously thought were incorrect. But it turns out the levels of addiction right or even higher.” Sill said.
Sill says doctors were presented with inaccurate studies by drug producers and distributors. “One study for example was based on short term inpatient treatment and the levels of addiction that were seen in that study. But they were used to market opioids for long-term treatment of chronic pain. Which of course led to much higher levels of addiction.“
Janssen Pharmaceuticals, which is owned by Johnson and Johnson, released a statement today saying: “Our actions in the marketing and promotion of these important prescription pain medications were appropriate and responsible. The FDA-approved labels for these prescription pain medications provide clear information about their risks and benefits.”
“I would strongly disagree with that statement. I think they said the medical community and food and drug administration and everyone frankly other than the drug company mislead the statements and the addictive nature of opioids.“ Sill said.