SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – The New Mexico attorney general’s office has filed a lawsuit accusing major manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioid medication of exacerbating the state’s drug addiction crisis.
Attorney General Hector Balderas on Thursday announced the filing of the lawsuit in state district court against five of the nation’s largest opioid manufacturers and three major wholesale distributors.
The suit accuses opioid manufacturers of aggressively pushing highly addictive and dangerous drugs and falsely representing to doctors that patients would rarely succumb to addiction. It accuses distributors of failing to monitor, investigate and report suspicious orders of prescription opiates.
Balderas said the lawsuit is modeled after past litigation against tobacco companies to funnel private profits toward drug treatment and law enforcement.
New Mexico’s drug overdose death rate is far above the national average.