CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – The City of North Charleston and Charleston County are trying to tackle the opioid epidemic. The two filed lawsuits against dozens of pharmaceutical companies, accusing them of improperly distributing opioids here in the Lowcountry.
Some of the big pharma companies being sued include Purdue Pharma, Endopharmaceuticals and Teva Pharmaceuticals.
Allegations in the lawsuit filed by the City of North Charleston include nearly 160 overdose deaths between January 2016 and December of 2017 in Charleston County. Medics administered Narcan more than 900 times. According to the lawsuit, the number of opioids prescribed contributes to the issue in the City of North Charleston.
The City of North Charleston tweeted about the lawsuit Monday saying the City is in part, “committed to fighting the opioid crisis that effects the entire nation.”
It goes on to say, “The City is an active participant in the local Addiction Crisis Task Force (ACT) which is comprised of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, social service agencies, health care agencies, and others engaged in this effort. “
The City said it will not comment on the pending lawsuits, but said the allegations in the lawsuit speak for themselves.
In the lawsuit filed by Charleston County, the introduction reads, “this case arises from the worst man-made epidemic in modern history— the misuse, abuse, diversion, and over-prescription of opioids. “
According to the lawsuit, DEA data shows that Charleston County has the highest concentration of opioid pain pills dispensed in the nation.
Charleston County asserts two categories of claims:
(1.) Claims against the pharmaceutical manufacturers of prescription opioid drugs that engaged in a massive false marketing campaign to drastically expand the market for such drugs and their own market share.
And (2.) claims against the entities in the supply chain that reaped enormous financial rewards by refusing to monitor and restrict the improper distribution of those drugs.