Hard-hit Pennsylvania to sue drug maker over opioid epidemic

The Associated Press
FILE - In this Aug. 14, 2018, file photo, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro walks to the podium to speak about a grand jury's report on clergy abuse in the Roman Catholic Church during a news conference at the Capitol in Harrisburg.

PHILADELPHIA – The attorney general of Pennsylvania says he’s suing a pharmaceutical giant for fueling the opioid epidemic.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office said it would announce details of the lawsuit Tuesday afternoon. Pennsylvania is one of the states hardest hit by opioid addiction.

Shapiro’s office two years ago joined with dozens of other states to investigate companies that make and distribute opioid painkillers. Meanwhile, several Pennsylvania counties have sued drug makers, while a federal judge in Cleveland is overseeing more than 1,500 lawsuit filed by local governments, American Indian tribes and others against the opioid industry.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says opioids, including prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and illicit drugs such as fentanyl and heroin, were involved in a record 48,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2017.

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