Clearfield County Approves Filing Lawsuit Against “Big Pharma”

CLEARFIELD – Clearfield County is going after “Big Pharma” to recoup expenses from the growing opioid epidemic.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Clearfield County Commissioners voted unanimously to retain D’Amico Law Offices LLC of Pittsburgh to file a lawsuit to recover costs the county has had to shoulder due to the opioid crisis.

Commissioner John Sobel said the county has had to utilize a lot of resources resulting from the growing drug abuse problems.

He said these costs include costs incurred by law enforcement officers and EMTs who respond to incidents involving those using opioids, the district attorney and public defender’s offices for crimes relating to opioid use and the county jail for not only housing the individuals, but also providing treatment for illness relating to opioid abuse.

The county also incurs costs relating to families impacted by opioid use, such as Children, Youth and Family Services.

Sobel said these costs unfortunately fall upon the taxpayers of Clearfield County. He said records show a spike in opioid-related deaths in Clearfield County, and expenses relating to this epidemic has also steadily increased.

Sobel said the lawsuit is specifically against eight pharmaceutical companies, seeking both punitive and compensatory damages.

The lawsuit will also ask the court to prevent the pharmaceutical companies from engaging in the promotion and sales practices, which lead to the opioid crisis.

Attorney Michael D’Amico said there is strong evidence that pharmaceutical companies have ignored tests showing how addictive opioid medications are and that they may have misrepresented the safety of these drugs.

He said the county can file their suit as an individual county, either on the state level or on the local level, but this is something the county can discuss, not that they have agreed to work with his firm on the lawsuit.

Sobel said similar lawsuits have been files in Philadelphia, Allegheny, Erie, Beaver, Westmoreland and Delaware counties, as well as in other states across the country.

He said pharmaceutical companies are experiencing record profits relating to the sale of opioid prescription drugs, while counties such as Clearfield are left dealing with the expenses.

D’Amico said his firm has retained Theron Noble as its local counsel for the count.

Sobel, along with fellow Commissioners Mark McCracken and Tony Scotto all stressed that this suit is in no way directed to the local doctors and medical professionals, but is specifically targeting the large pharmaceutical companies responsible for producing these drugs.

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One thought on “Clearfield County Approves Filing Lawsuit Against “Big Pharma”

  1. Qualia

    Big bad pharma, the people that produce drugs that save millions of lives every year, maybe we should blame a defective society on them as well. We see people looking for a way out of their misery who turn to an addictive drug and we blame the people that make a drug that relieves the pain of millions every year instead of the society that pushes some to find a short mental release for their mental misery.

    Instead of looking for a scapegoat we should look at ourselves, how we treat those that need our help the most, the aid we give the aid we deny and actually take responsibility for our malfunctioning society. We have left the basic definition of society in the trash (companionship or association with one’s fellows), (people in general living together in an organized way, making decisions about how to do things, and sharing the work that needs to be done) and now make our decisions based on stereotypes and labels rather than how we harm or help.

    I’ve seen no motion to curtail a looming financial ripoff of our citizens by naturopathy, homeopathy products and claims, products and claims that have no basis in science, no factual support of the claims made, no oversight of the products sold yet gaining the support of our government. There is no outrage when the anti medicine crowd causes death and illness by their denigration of “Big Pharma” as an evil entity motivated by money rather than humanity to be replaced by “natural. Yet naturopathy, homeopathy is a multibillion dollar industry somehow immune from the “profit” motive? I’ll remind you botulism is natural too. Snakes, Mercury, Anthrax, all natural, so is “natural” really a good thing, we have been programmed to believe it is, it’s not.

    Don’t be fooled by the slick claims of natural being better than manmade, the fact is if what is made is chemically the same as natural there is no difference. Don’t be fooled by the blame game being played these days, doubt everything that has no scientific proof and is based entirely on anecdotes, when people say “studies show” ask to see the study. When people say our opiate crisis is the fault of big pharma doubt that as well and look to those that profit by blaming big pharma.

    “Also of concern: the introduction to this section introduces what will be a continuing theme, criticism of “the dominant school of medicine”. The first of many false accusations is that MDs have only a superficial understanding of health and disease.”

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