Philadelphia sues opioid makers in response to epidemic

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Philadelphia has filed a lawsuit against drug companies that make prescription opioids, saying they’ve created “an unprecedented public health crisis.”

It seeks to halt what the city calls “deceptive marketing practices” and force the drug makers to pay for treatment costs and reimburse the city for the money it has spent responding to the addiction epidemic.

Mayor Jim Kenney says the epidemic “has exacted a grim toll on Philadelphia residents and their families.”

The city’s public health department says the number of fatal overdoses for 2017 is expected to reach 1,200.

The defendants named in Wednesday’s filing manufacture OxyContin, Percocet and other painkillers. The companies have said in similar lawsuits they don’t believe litigation is the answer, but have pledged to help solve the crisis.

The city is joining a growing list of communities around the country suing opioid manufacturers.

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