What to Know
The City of Miami plans to file a lawsuit against drug manufacturers and distributors.
There were 641 opioid-related overdoses in 2016, an increase of 20 percent from 2015.
Companies facing lawsuits include Purdue Pharma, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Johnson & Johnson.
The City of Miami said it is filing a civil lawsuit over alleged deceptive and false marketing practices by several manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioid painkillers.
In a statement, the city government said Miami Mayor Francis Suarez authorized the City Attorney’s Office to "engage outside counsel to file a lawsuit."
The lawsuit alleges that the defendants created a public nuisance by falsely marketing opioids and unlawfully supplying them in Miami, which "allegedly unjustly enriched them at the expense of the city and its residents."
“We believe the pharmaceutical industry knowingly inflicted a great burden on the people of the City of Miami and our nation. This industry has been allowed to get away with this injustice for far too long,” City Manager Emilio T. Gonzalez said in a statement. “It is time that they are held accountable and remedy the devastating circumstances that they created.”
Defendants named in the lawsuit include Purdue Pharma, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, Cardinal Health and Walgreens Boots Alliance.
There were 641 opioid-related overdoses in 2016, an increase of 20 percent from 2015, and the Miami Department of Fire-Rescue responded to 1,717 calls – an over-1,000-call increase – involving Naloxone, an antidote to opioids that same year, the statement said.
In 2015, 541 people died due to a fatal drug overdose died of prescription drug-related deaths overdose, the city said.