Senator Lesser’s Statement on Springfield’s Lawsuit Against Opioid Makers

SPRINGFIELD — In response to Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno’s announcement that the City is retaining Scott+Scott, Attorneys at Law, LLP to represent it in litigation against pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors which  fueled the opioid epidemic, State Senator Eric P. Lesser reiterated his support for these lawsuits on the state and local level.

Referencing the town of Greenfield’s similar lawsuit, filed in December, Senator Lesser said:

“Thank you Mayor Sarno for having the courage to take this fight on. I am proud that Western Massachusetts continues to lead on this issue, with Springfield and Greenfield fighting to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for peddling powerful painkillers that they knew were highly addictive and potentially deadly.

“Make no mistake: deliberate decisions were made by Big Pharma companies to flood our communities with highly addictive and powerful painkillers. These decisions have devastated families across our state, particularly in Western Massachusetts, and they have left local health and treatment facilities burdened with the consequences.

“Ultimately, the pharmaceutical companies that caused the opioid crisis — one of the worst public health crises in our country’s history — must be held accountable. We are learning more and more about how they marketed these drugs, putting them in the hands of patients knowing full well how addictive and prone to misuse they are. I’m glad Springfield is stepping up to hold Big Pharma accountable. I hope more communities, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, take this case on as well.”

Senator Lesser has been a leader in fighting the opioid epidemic. Most recently, he sponsored an amendment to the Senate’s healthcare reform package that included funding for research into medication-assisted treatment to explore alternative treatments for pain. In January 2015, Senator Lesser filed a bill that served as a blueprint for the Massachusetts bulk purchasing program for Narcan, an opiate overdose-reversal drug.

You can read more about Senator Lesser’s work to address the opioid epidemic here.

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