New Haven sues OxyContin maker over opioid crisis - WFSB 3 Connecticut

New Haven sues OxyContin maker over opioid crisis

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New Haven is suing an OxyContin maker over opioid crisis (AP file photo) New Haven is suing an OxyContin maker over opioid crisis (AP file photo)

A Connecticut city is suing the company that manufactures OxyContin for "deceptive marketing" that is blamed for the city's opioid crisis.

New Haven filed a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma Tuesday seeking compensation for costs faced by police, social services and first responders combating the crisis.

Several states have sued the company, including New Jersey, Ohio and New Hampshire.

New Haven is following in the footsteps of Waterbury, which filed a suit just like this back in the summer.

Now the Elm City is launching its own lawsuit, hoping that by forcing a change to the way these drugs are marketed and prescribed, it will help save lives.

"They market these drugs, without really considering the overall impact, on the patients that get them and whether or not they use them appropriately it, whether or not someone in their family can get a hold of them," said New Haven Mayor Toni Harp.

She said it’s not just the addiction that’s concerning, but the crisis and the city's response is causing police, social services, along with first responders costs to skyrocket.

"It’s costing the city a lot of money,” Harp said.

Statewide, 917 people died from accidental overdoses in 2016, most of them involving opioids.

This year the state is on pace to pass that number.

"This is a real problem, it’s something that has to be addressed at the manufacturing level and if this lawsuit raises the level of concern and changes in practices in a way that helps ensure more of our young people don't get addicted to opioids, then it is worth doing,” Harp said.

"In a statement to Eyewitness News, Purdue Pharma said "We are deeply troubled by the opioid crisis and we are dedicated to being part of the solution. As a company grounded in science, we must balance patient access to FDA-approved medicines, while working collaboratively to solve this public health challenge. We vigorously deny these allegations and look forward to the opportunity to present our defense."

Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.