A methadone clinic has opened up in Putnam County.
Putnam County is about to hitch a lawsuit towards pharmaceutical corporations linked to the opioid and heroin disaster that has left hundreds of New Yorkers lifeless.
Putnam legislators voted lately to hitch counties throughout the nation, together with 9 in New York, which might be accusing key Massive Pharma corporations of misleading advertising practices and different illicit conduct that led to the habit epidemic.
“New York State has been one of many hardest hit states within the nation, with the speed of prescription and heroin overdoses exceeding virtually each different state within the nation,” stated Putnam County Government MaryEllen Odell, referring to the drug crises’ rising dying toll in Putnam and different communities.
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The rise of the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl is partially responsible for a newly reported spike in overdose deaths in Putnam County and other New York communities last year.
Statewide, excluding New York City, the number of opioid-related deaths increased to 1,879 in 2016, up from 1,520 the prior year.
That is a rate of 16.7 deaths per 100,000 population in 2016, up from the 13.5 death rate.
In Putnam, there were 15 deaths in 2016, up from 13. That reflected a 15.1 death rate last year, data show.
Putnam plans to hire the law firm Napoli Shkolnik, which was recently named co-lead council in the opioid litigation, county records show.
Legislators voted last week to negotiate a deal with the law firm, records show but didn’t offer further details. Similar deals have involved firms representing state and local governments in court without an upfront payment in order to share in any settlements or damages awarded.
The Putnam lawsuit seeks compensation from pharma industry leaders for unnecessary costs incurred as a result of prescription opioid abuse, including workplace costs relative to loss of productivity, healthcare costs such as abuse treatment and criminal justice costs, county records show.
“I think it is imperative that we learn from the tobacco lawsuits of the 1990s and collectively go after the source of the prescription opioid epidemic, the pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors,” Odell said, “and hold them accountable for the fraudulent and negligent practices they engaged in which caused immeasurable harm to Putnam County residents and taxpayers.”
Dutchess, Rockland, Ulster, Nassau, Suffolk, Broome, Erie and Orange had already moved forward with the suit when Westchester announced it would join as well this past September.
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