Important next step in multi-pronged approach to opioid crisis

TAMPA, FL- Ryan Torrens, Democratic candidate for Florida Attorney General, has announced that he will pursue litigation against major pharmaceutical conglomerates responsible for the production and distribution of opioids including OxyContin and Percocet.

“I congratulate the Republican attorney general of Ohio, Mike DeWine, and the other attorneys general who have been leading the charge on this issue. If attorney general Bondi does not follow suit, I will,” said Torrens. “These pharmaceutical companies have knowingly misled physicians and patients into believing that these opioids did not contain addictive qualities,” said Torrens. “These pharmaceutical manufacturers have also overstated the benefits of chronic opioid pain therapy, specifically targeted vulnerable patient populations including veterans and the elderly and violated state anti-fraud and consumer protection laws,” said Torrens.

Florida experienced a 139.5 percent increase in deaths caused by fentanyl in the first six months of 2016 compared to the first six months of 2015. The impact of fentanyl-related deaths is felt across the state. Across the nation, an estimated $420 billion dollars has been spent related to health care costs, crime and lost economic opportunity as a result of substance abuse disorders. In the workplace, an estimated $81 billion dollars a year is the cost of drug abuse to employers.

While the numbers and statistics related to opioid deaths both in Florida and around the country are staggering, the numbers tell only part of the story. Each victim of the opioid crisis is a mother, a father, daughter, a son and a friend. The human toll this crisis is taking on our state is far too large to quantify.

“I believe it is vital to hold the manufacturers of these drugs accountable for their actions. For far too long, these companies have been able to act with impunity and indifference to the suffering of thousands of families. One life lost is simply too many. As Florida’s attorney general and top consumer advocate, I vow to stand up for each one of these victims and their families and zealously pursue justice on their behalf,” said Torrens.


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