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City leaders sue pharma companies over opioid crisis

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Dozens of cities and counties across the country have filed lawsuits against drug manufacturers and distributors to try to stop the opioid epidemic at its source.

Chicago and its Mayor Rahm Emanual were the first to take that step, suing 5 opioid drug-makers in 2014.

SInce then, the movement has spread. 

In September of 2017, Muncie, Ind., filed a lawsuit against the 3 largest opioid distributors in the country: Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen and Mckesson.

The mayor of Muncie said 82 percent of the city's general budget has been devoted to public safety, mainly due to the opioid crisis.

Two weeks after Muncie's announcement, the mayor of Indianapolis announced his city would file a similar lawsuit, sparked by an increase in opioid overdose deaths. Marion County went from 97 opioid overdose deaths in 2015 to 171 deaths in 2016.

In Michiana, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said a lawsuit is something he would consider.

"It's something we've got to look at too because we're definitely facing the costs, we're seeing the impact, a human cost of course, and also a financial cost," Buttigieg said. "Everybody shares a different level or responsibility, but if patients or even doctors were ever being misled about the harms that could be done by these drugs, then that is a deliberate bad action and there needs to be accountability for that."

The Epidemic in the U.S. The Statistics St. Joseph County Addicted America St. Joseph County 2017 Stats

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