Carlton County has become the newest group to file a lawsuit against major drugmakers.
The county filed the lawsuit in federal district court on Friday, June 14 against six of the nation's biggest manufacturers and three of the largest prescription drug distributors.
In a press release, Carlton County alleges, "that these companies used deceptive marketing tactics with the intent to maximize profits while minimizing both the addictive nature of these drugs and the health risks to patients."
County Attorney Lauri A. Ketola believes these companies distorted the dangers that long-term use of prescribed opioids pose for patients.
"It was misrepresented as to the use of opioids as far as how addictive they were," Ketola told WCMP. She went onto say, "There was information that went out to the medical community that said they were not addictive, that they could be used for extended periods of time."
Ketola says this is simply not true, and the highly addictive nature of these drugs are driving people to turn to drugs like heroin due to their similar chemical makeup.
The county's goal with this lawsuit is to recover some of the money lost to put in place programs to combat opioid abuse, which Ketola says impacts everything in the county from incarceration to child protection.
Carlton County is joining other cities and counties in national litigation against major drug manufacturers.