The lawsuit filed last week in Crittenden County Circuit Court brings together 215 cities and 74 counties across the state, accusing opioid manufacturers of destruction by aggressively pushing drugs from the early 2000s to the present, causing Hundreds of overdose deaths while prosecuting and public health resources.
Opioid manufacturers, according to the lawsuit, "mistakenly spoke of the benefits of long-term opioid use, including the supposed ability of opioids to improve function and quality of life, although there was no" good evidence "for their claims.
Each manufacturer claimed that his false representations of the risks and benefits of opioids were not supported or directly contradicted by the scientific evidence. "
The suit names 52 opioid manufacturers, including Purdue Pharma, Endo Pharmaceuticals, and Johnson & Johnson, as well as 1
The lawsuit is different from others who have filed their own lawsuits against opioid manufacturers of more than a dozen prosecutors in general, including Arkansas, across the nation as well as dozens of individual counties and cities.
The fall of Arkansas brings together cities and counties in a single civil case. "Our case is unique in this regard because it focuses on a means that will solve this problem," said Jerome Tapley, a lawyer who advises the cities and districts in the lawsuit.
Officials in North Carolina, Utah, Mississippi, Iowa, and several other states have chosen to learn more about how the case was brought to Arkansas, the parties said with the lawsuit against CNN.
The drug companies and other defendants have not responded, according to the Crittenden County Attorney's office.
Johnson & Johnson has grappled with the allegations. "Our marketing and advertising efforts for these medicines were appropriate and responsible," states a statement. "The labels for our prescription opioid painkillers provide information about their risks and benefits, and the allegations against our company are unfounded and unfounded, in fact our medications have the lowest rates of abuse among this class of medication."  Purdue said it was "deeply affected by the prescription and the illegal opioid abuse crisis" and that it was geared towards working towards a solution. "We vigorously deny these allegations and look forward to the opportunity to present our defense," he said.
Endo did not respond to CNN's request for comment. "We are not able to comment on legal questions about certain member companies," the industry association PhRMA said in a statement.
The Healthcare Distribution Alliance, a national trade association, named the wholesale distributor of opioids, including two in the lawsuit, represents the problem a "complex public health challenge that requires a collaborative and systemic response."
"The idea that distributors are responsible for the number of opioid prescriptions written contradicts common sense and has no understanding of how the pharmaceutical supply chain actually works and is regulated," said senior vice president John Parker in a written statement. "Those who bring litigation would be better equipped to tackle the root causes rather than trying to redirect blame through litigation."