Orange County goes forward with opiate lawsuit

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Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus announced plans Tuesday to join forces with Erie County in a lawsuit holding Big Pharma legally responsible for contributing to the deadly opiate epidemic.



While the opioid addiction crisis has led to stricter prescribing by physicians, Neuhaus says the damage is already done.



"This is going to be years to rectify," Neuhaus says. "But what we know today is that we have people dying -- we have four overdoses in one community alone last week, and that is unacceptable."



It's currently unknown which companies will be named in the suit, but Neuhaus singled out Purdue Pharmaceuticals when speaking with News 12. The company, which prescribes the painkiller OxyContin, said in a statement that its medication is less than 2 percent of opiates prescribed and it has worked collaboratively to find solutions to the problem plaguing counties with legal and medical costs.



New York's Suffolk and Erie counties have already filed similar lawsuits.


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