Opioids

Two HV Cities File Suit Over Opioid Epidemic

Jun 5, 2019

Two Hudson Valley mayors announced this week that their cities had filed lawsuits against opioid manufacturers, including Purdue Pharma.

From left: VT Attorney General T.J. Donovan, Kate Van Hayes from Senator Bernie Sanders Office, Assistant Attorney General Jill Abrams, Howard Center Executive Director Bob Bick
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont Attorney General is going back to court over the opioid crisis. T.J. Donovan has filed a third lawsuit against manufacturers or distributors of the drugs that the office claims had key roles in creating the opioid epidemic in the state.

Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan announces lawsuit against drug distributors
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Last September, Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan stood in front of the Chittenden County Superior Court to announce that the state was suing Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of Oxycontin and other opioids. Today, he was back to announce new lawsuits against two drug distributors.

In September 2018 Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan announced a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A Vermont court has denied an opioid manufacturer’s motion to dismiss claims brought by the state against the company.

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger hosts an Opioid Town Hall in Contois Auditorium
MiroBTV/Facebook / Burlington Mayor's office

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger hosted an opioid Town Hall this week, bringing in national and regional experts to discuss the epidemic and update residents on the city’s efforts to stem it.

The mayor of Burlington is hosting a meeting that will bring some of the nation's top experts on the opioid threat to Vermont's largest city.

Vermont Statehouse
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A bill has been proposed in the Vermont House to make sure that health care providers follow guidelines for prescribing opioid pain medications to reduce the risk of a patient becoming addicted.

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger announces opioid related overdose deaths down in Chittenden County
Pat Bradley/WAMC

In 2013, Vermont began tracking the number of opioid overdose related fatalities in the state on a county-by-county basis. Officials in Chittenden County, Vermont’s most populous, announced Thursday that there was a significant drop in overdose deaths last year.

A Vermont panel has released a progress report finding the state has made improvements on the ongoing opioid crisis, but there is still a long way to go.

Vermont legislators are seeking to ban insurance companies or Medicaid from requiring pre-authorization before approving medication-assisted treatment.

Chris McGreal is a reporter for the Guardian and former journalist at the BBC. He was the Guardian's correspondent in Johannesburg, Jerusalem and Washington DC, and now writes from across the United States.

The opioid epidemic has been described as "one of the greatest mistakes of modern medicine." But calling it a mistake is a generous rewriting of the history of greed, corruption, and indifference that pushed the US into consuming more than 80 percent of the world's opioid painkillers.

His new book is entitled "American Overdose: The Opioid Tragedy in Three Acts." Journeying through lives and communities wrecked by the epidemic, Chris McGreal reveals not only how Big Pharma hooked Americans on powerfully addictive drugs, but the corrupting of medicine and public institutions that let the opioid makers get away with it. The starting point for McGreal's deeply reported investigation is the miners promised that opioid painkillers would restore their wrecked bodies, but who became targets of "drug dealers in white coats."

A few heroic physicians warned of impending disaster. But American Overdose exposes the powerful forces they were up against, including the pharmaceutical industry's coopting of the Food and Drug Administration and Congress in the drive to push painkillers--resulting in the resurgence of heroin cartels in the American heartland. McGreal tells the story, in terms both broad and intimate, of people hit by a catastrophe they never saw coming. Years in the making, its ruinous consequences will stretch years into the future.

Composite photo Dave Lucas/WAMC & Be.Futureproof/Flickr

Four upstate New York cities are suing the manufacturers and distributors of opioid painkillers.

A Vermont panel has released a progress report on previous recommendations on how to deal with the ongoing opioid crisis.

A powerful obituary for a Vermont woman with opioid addiction has inspired more than 100 donations to a local recovery center from around the country and as far away as Denmark.

In September 2018 Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan announced a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont’s Attorney General is suing Purdue Pharma, saying the manufacturer of Oxycontin has driven the opioid addiction crisis. T.J. Donovan says the billion dollar industry must account for misleading marketing.

syringe
ZaldyImg/Flickr

For over a year, officials in Vermont’s most populous county and the state have been considering the possibility of creating safe injection sites as a means to curb the growing opioid crisis.  This week, U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote that such plans are not solutions and the Department of Justice is ready to act against communities that create such facilities.  The move is not deterring efforts in Burlington.

syringe
ZaldyImg/Flickr

The Burlington City Council approved a nonbinding resolution this week calling for further study into establishing safe injection sites in the city.

Vermont's congressional delegation says the state is getting $4 million in federal grants to help fight the opioid epidemic.

WikiMedia Commons

As the country grapples with the addiction epidemic, one Capital Region hospital is offering opioid-free surgery for a select number of operations.

Flickr

Nevada and five other states are filing new lawsuits accusing a Connecticut-based pharmaceutical company of using deceptive marketing to boost drug sales that fueled opioid overdose deaths.

NY Senator Charles Schumer
Pat Bradley/WAMC

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer was in Plattsburgh, New York recently to promote the distribution of funds that will allow local law enforcement officers to obtain technology to detect the presence of fentanyl in the field.

Governor Phil Scott (left) joins Drug Prevention Policy Director Jolinda LaClair (at podium) and others at Vermont's Opioid Awareness Day
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Donning purple ribbons and small cards with the number 107, dozens of advocates gathered at the Statehouse in Montpelier this week for Vermont’s second annual Opioid Awareness Day.

Oxycodone pills
Be.Futureproof/Flickr

Officials in the city of Plattsburgh have joined a growing list of municipalities planning to sue pharmaceutical companies over the opioid crisis.

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to impose a tax on manufacturers of prescription opioids to help pay for state programs that help people who are addicted to them. But some say it will be patients who will ultimately have to pay the price.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney was in Orange County, New York Monday to announce legislation to combat online opioid sales. He spoke at the Middletown Police Department, alongside a woman whose son died from an overdose two years ago.

Vermont Blueprint for Health Hub and Spoke diagram
Vermont Department of Health

Vermont Governor Phil Scott and the state’s Secretary of Human Services were in Washington Tuesday to testify before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health.  Their focus was on the state’s “Hub and Spoke” treatment model that is getting more people into treatment for addiction.

Assemblyman D. Billy Jones announces funding to SPARCC with members (left to rigth) Connie Wille, John Bernardi, Jones, Michael Carpenter and Peter Trout
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York State Assemblyman D. Billy Jones was in Plattsburgh this morning to announce funding for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Recovery Coalition of Clinton County and new legislation to motivate businesses to hire people in recovery.

Senator Bernie Sanders holds student meeting on opioids and addiction at Burlington High School
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders held a student town meeting at Burlington High School late last week to discuss the addiction and opioid crisis.

Senator Bernie Sanders at Burlington High School student opioid forum
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders held a student town meeting at the Burlington High School Friday afternoon to discuss the opioid crisis.

wikipedia.org

The federal government is sending law enforcement teams to cities in five states, including New York and Massachusetts, to help stop the flow of heroin and synthetic opioids.

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