December 7, 2017

New Britain sues big pharma over alleged opioid deception

New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart

Following through on a promise made in October, New Britain has sued some of the nation's largest pharmaceutical companies, alleging they have misled the public about the dangers of prescription opioids.

The lawsuit filed by Scott + Scott Attorneys at Law LLP on behalf of the city names as defendants prescription drug manufacturers Purdue Pharma, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Endo Pharmaceuticals, and Insys Therapeutics.

It also names a number of wholesale distributors, including McKesson Corporation, AmerisourceBergen Corporation, and Cardinal Health.

The lawsuit seeks compensation from the manufacturers and wholesale distributors for causing New Britain to incur exorbitant costs for social and human services, as well as the enhanced costs for the additional services of police, fire and other first responders necessary to cope with the opioid epidemic.

The city alleges that opioid manufacturers "systematically worked to deceive doctors and patients – including vulnerable groups such as the elderly and war veterans – about the highly addictive nature of prescription opioids and the appropriateness of these drugs for chronic pain management," the law firm said.

Among the allegations, the city says opioid manufacturers:

  • Published misleading articles in medical journals, including publications aimed at doctors who commonly treat chronic pain;
  • Created a body of false and unsupported literature that appeared to be independent, peer-tested, and objective when it was not; and
  • Employed distinguished physicians to write, consult on, and lend their names to articles that encouraged the use of opioids to treat chronic pain.

"The pharmaceutical industry is responsible for one of the most tragic epidemics facing cities like New Britain. Our firm's roots are in Connecticut, and I could not be more honored to represent cities such as New Britain as they stand up to the industry on behalf of their communities and the families torn apart by the opioid epidemic," said David Scott, managing partner of Scott + Scott.

Read more

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Insurers, doctors work to curb opioid prescriptions

Construction industry stays vigilant against opioid abuse

CT drug overdoses could outpace 2016

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