EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH, LA (WAFB) - The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) has announced they are filing a lawsuit against several leading opioid manufacturers for their alleged role is escalating the opioid crisis.
The lawsuit, filed in the 19th Judicial District Court in East Baton Rouge Parish, claims that the drug companies use fraudulent marketing about the risks and benefits of prescription opioids, which help to fuel the opioid epidemic Louisiana is facing.
"These drug companies led prescribers to believe that opioids were not addictive and even suggested that treating physicians prescribe greater dosage units to those who had already become addicted to opioids. As evident by the hundreds of Louisiana families that have lost loved ones due to this crisis, nothing could be further from the truth. We intend to hold these pharmaceutical companies responsible for the lasting damage they have caused upon our people and the millions of dollars their wrongful claims have cost our state," said Governor John Bel Edwards.
LDH is seeking damages for the money it has already paid for excessive opioid prescriptions and treatment costs as a result of prescriptions written.
Many other cities and states have filed similar lawsuits due to higher number of opioid-related deaths. Lawsuits were filed last week in Avoyelles, Lafayette, Jefferson Davis, and Rapides Parishes.
"By all means necessary, we are fighting the opioids epidemic in Louisiana. All indicators of this problem - opioid prescriptions, overdoses, and deaths - are up. Recognizing that a key contributor to opioid addiction is prescription medications, where 110 prescriptions for opioids are written for every 100 Louisiana residents, we are addressing a fundamental cause of this problem," said Dr. Rebekah Gee, secretary of LDH.