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Salt Lake County Will Sue Pharma Companies Over Opioid Epidemic

Photo of pills spilling out of a prescription pill bottle

Utah’s opioid crisis is prompting Salt Lake County officials to pursue legal action against pharmaceutical companies.

District Attorney Sim Gill joined by Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams announced Monday plans to sue several drug manufacturers. They say those companies bear some responsibility for the opioid crisis by downplaying the risks of addiction and overstating their benefits.


Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes was also at Monday's news conference. He said eventually the state should follow suit.


“This is a great place to start, but we have other counties that are going through the same consequences… lives and families and communities are being impacted across the state of Utah," he said. "And so this is something I would like to see [all] counties consider, and then ultimately the state needs to step forward in a strong way in this as well.”


An increasing number of states, counties and cities across the U.S. have started pursuing these lawsuits. President Trump declared opioid crisis a national health emergency last month.

Gill did not specify which companies would be singled out. A private law firm is expected to handle the lawsuit in the coming weeks. 

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