Drug overdose deaths increased by nearly 35% in Alabama from 2019 to 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2018, that state led the nation in opioid prescriptions, nearly double the national rate, according to the National Institute of Drug abuse.
As addiction and death related to opioid drugs worsens nationwide, the State of Alabama is trying to hold certain pharmaceutical companies accountable for their alleged roles in the crisis.
Recently, local municipalities including the Albertville City Council, Boaz City Council and the Marshall County Commission approved resolutions to join the State in a litigation settlement with Endo Health Solutions, which manufactures various pharmaceuticals including opioids.
Among the reasons for signing-on to the agreement, the resolution states the people locally have “suffered harm and will continue to suffer harm as a result of the opioid epidemic.”
Multiple other states have filed similar suits against Endo. Alabama is also in litigation against McKesson Corp. for its alleged role in fueling the opioid crisis.
The local municipalities signing onto the agreement may receive part of the settlement funds, but those figures have yet to be released at the time of publication.
In February, the State reached a settlement with another pharmaceutical company, McKinsey & Company, worth just over $9 million.