Palm Beach County Joined Opioid Litigation
April 10, 2018
Palm Beach County has joined a growing list of local governments accusing drug makers, distributors and pharmacies of putting profits ahead of the public’s health and fueling an opioid epidemic that has cost taxpayers millions of dollars. About 600 people died of opioid overdoses in Palm Beach County this past year, making it one of the hardest hit counties in the state.
The county accuses drug companies of spending hundreds of millions of dollars to develop and distribute scientific and educational materials that misrepresented the risks of opioids, such as OxyContin, fentanyl and Percocet, and co-opting doctors to deliver scripted talks and misleading studies.
The lawsuit outlines a variety of damages — overtime expenses for paramedics, drug treatment costs, foster care services for children of people with addiction and a loss of tourism.