Mayor supports lawsuit against drug companies fueling opioid crisis

FILE - This Feb. 19, 2013, file photo, shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. Prescription painkillers should not be a first-choice for treating common ailments like back pain and arthritis, according to new federal guidelines designed to reshape how doctors prescribe drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin. Amid an epidemic of addiction and abuse tied to these powerful opioids drugs, the CDC is urging general doctors to try physical therapy, exercise and over-the-counter pain medications before turning to painkillers for chronic pain. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton mayor and democratic gubernatorial candidate Nan Whaley is a supporter of a lawsuit filed by the Ohio Attorney General’s office against pharmaceutical companies.

It claims “fraudulent marketing” by prescription drug companies fueled the state’s opioid epidemic.

Whaley said she agrees with suing the people who caused the crisis, but also said communities need relief sooner than later.  Lawsuits similar to this, can drag out for years.

“I’m absolutely in favor of suing the drug companies and holding them accountable, but we need action fast and now. Every day someone is dying from this addiction,” Whaley said.

Five pharmaceutical manufacturers are listed as defendants – including the makers of OxyContin and Percocet.  The lawsuit claims the drug companies disseminated “false and misleading statements” to prescribers – downplaying the risks of prescription opioids and inflating the benefits.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said pharmaceutical companies have caused “undeniable harm” to Ohio families.  He accused them of deceptively marketing their drugs, creating – what he called – the state’s worst public health crisis.

The lawsuit is seeking damages for the money the state and consumers have spent on the drugs and an injunction.

“This is something we’ve been working on here in Dayton. We think it’s really Key that the drug companies are held accountable you know taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill for the cost of something that the drug companies created and we need to be bold and aggressive in that work and will be talking about it more in the future,” Whaley said. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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