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City files lawsuit against major drugmakers over opioids

The city of Chicago has filed a lawsuit against five pharmaceutical manufacturers, accusing the companies of deceptively marketing addictive painkillers.

The lawsuit against five of the nation’s largest opioid manufacturers—Purdue Pharma, Cephalon, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Endo Health Solutions, and Actavis—was filed in state court, according to a statement from the mayor’s office.

The suit alleges the companies misrepresented the benefits of opioids while concealing the serious health risks associated with “highly addictive narcotics painkillers,” according to the statement. The suit claims the companies target marketing to the elderly and veterans, promising the drugs would improve their quality of life.

The city’s Health Insurance Plan has reimbursed claims for approximately $9.5 million on opioids since 2008, according to the statement.

“We believe that these pharmaceutical manufacturers have violated a number of city ordinances and other laws in the marketing and sale of these drugs,” corporation counsel Stephen Patton said in the statement.

“The purpose of the lawsuit is simple: to stop this deceptive and unlawful marketing and hold these companies responsible for the harm their deception has caused,” Patton said.