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St. Charles County joins nationwide opioid lawsuit

ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. - St. Charles County is joining about a thousand other cities, counties, and states across the country in the legal fight against the opioid epidemic.

St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann announced Monday the County filed a lawsuit against pharmaceutical manufacturers and drug distributors for “their aggressive and fraudulent marketing of prescription opioid painkillers that has led to a drug epidemic throughout the County and nationwide.”

With 301 deaths due to opioid overdoses in the county from 2013-2017, Ehlmann said there has been both a human and financial cost to the epidemic.

“I think just about every family in our county has been affected by this epidemic or knows a family who has been,” said Ehlmann. “St. Charles County taxpayers have experienced costs and losses directly related to the actions of these drug companies. The opioid crisis has reshaped the daily reality in our County in numerous ways, putting a greater demand on law enforcement, health services, corrections and the courts. County government has also expended dollars on community education programs and programs to treat those with opioid-related addiction.”

The defendants in the lawsuit include drug makers Purdue Pharma L.P.; Purdue Pharma, Inc.; The Purdue Frederick Company, Inc.; Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.; Cephalon, Inc.; Johnson& Johnson; Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Janssen Pharmaceutica, Inc.; Endo Health Solutions Inc.; Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; and Insys Therapeutics, Inc. The drug distributors named in the lawsuit are McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health, Inc., and AmerisourceBergen Corporation.