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City of Everett Wants to Sue Drug Company Over ‘Misuse Epidemic’

Judge to decide if City of Everett can proceed with suing make of Oxycontin (Getty Images)
Judge to decide if City of Everett can proceed with suing make of Oxycontin (Getty Images)

Most experts say it’s something that’s never been done before. A city suing a drug manufacturer because of alleged misuse and drug trafficking.

The suit was first filed in January 2017, and has progressed now to the point where the city of Everett is seeking ‘damages’ from the maker of Oxycontin. Officials say there’s an epidemic of misuse and black market sales of the drug. According to attorneys for the city, Oxycontin has been flowing from Los Angeles, up the coast to Everett. It’s then sold, and presumably misused, on the black market. Over the last few years, Oxycontin has been at the center of a growing black market problem. The drug, if misused, can produce ‘highs’ similar to those found from taking Heroin.

Officials filed the lawsuit, and Monday Purdue Pharma, the maker of the drug, argued in a Seattle Federal courthouse that they were not liable for the issue.

Purdue attorneys say in order for there to be fault, there has to be direct and deliberate harm to the person who has been sold the drug. Oxycontin is sold to wholesalers who then supply the drug to pharmacies. Purdue attorneys, said KIRO-7 TV, didn’t wish to be interviewed, but they argued their company does not directly supply to users.

City officials say the company needs to step up and help offer relief to stem the flow of black market drugs, and with treatment and other abatement programs. KIRO-7 says the Federal judge is expected to decide within the next few weeks if the suit will be allowed to go forward.

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