Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General
202 North Ninth Street
For media inquiries only, contact:
Charlotte Gomer, Press Secretary
Mobile: (804) 512-2552
BIPARTISAN GROUP OF ELECTED OFFICIALS AND ADVOCATES SUPPORT ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING'S LAWSUIT AGAINST PURDUE PHARMA FOR THEIR ROLE IN CREATING THE OPIOID CRISIS
RICHMOND (June 27, 2018) – Today, Attorney General Mark Herring filed a lawsuit in Tazewell County Circuit Court against Perdue Pharma accusing the company of profiting from the opioid crisis that it helped create and prolong through a years-long campaign of lies and deceit in violation of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act. Below, elected officials and advocates voice their support for Attorney General Herring's actions today.
"Right now we are in a fight for the lives of people in every corner of this Commonwealth who are currently battling opioid addiction or could become addicted soon. We have a responsibility to use every resource at our disposal to protect Virginians and hold companies accountable for misconduct. I applaud Attorney General Mark Herring and his team for taking bold action to fight the opioid crisis,” said Governor Ralph Northam
"Today we take a new step in our ongoing work to combat the opioid epidemic,” said Delegate Todd Pillion, who represents part of Southwest Virginia and has helped spearhead legislative efforts in the General Assembly. "Combined with legislative and executive action in Virginia, this lawsuit demonstrates the full commitment of the Commonwealth to take a stand against this scourge and the damage and heartbreak it has inflicted. This epidemic has robbed us of too many precious lives, ripped families apart, and depleted our communities and workforce. It is clear we should use whatever tools are available and necessary to pursue justice and hold accountable those companies who have contributed to this crisis through their schemes and misrepresentations.”
"The path to opioid addiction often starts with legal painkillers that are being over-prescribed and misused. Four out of five persons who are addicted to heroin began with prescription opioid drugs. The opioid epidemic has reached crisis level due to the introduction of synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, being mixed with heroin. This produces a drug that's dramatically more addictive and that is largely responsible for the growing number of overdose fatalities. The opioid crisis knows no boundaries, effecting all demographics and socioeconomic groups. The typical opioid addict today is not someone sitting on a street corner with a needle in their arm, it is likely someone within your household or in your neighborhood,” Chief Maggie DeBoard, Herndon Chief of Police.
"I am happy the Attorney General has decided to proceed with a lawsuit against Purdue. I know of so many people that have gotten addicted to opiates because of these pills that are made by Purdue. When VA wins this case, funds should go to Authentic Peer to Peer Recovery Community Organizations like The McShin Foundation to deliver our same day services to those affected by addiction,” said Honesty Liller, CEO of the McShin Foundation
"Drug overdoses are just the tip of the iceberg in the current opioid crisis, which has been fueled by the production and distribution of prescription opioids and is impacting families across the Commonwealth. One needs to examine the devastating impact of increases in diseases like Hepatitis C, endocarditis, and HIV to truly appreciate the magnitude of this epidemic. As we continue to identify solutions to the current crisis, we must recognize that opioids represent merely the current drug trend in a much broader addiction epidemic that impacts countless lives across the country. To overcome this broader addiction epidemic, we must treat addiction as the chronic, relapsing disease that it is,” said Dr. Nick Restrepo, Medical Director at Valley Health in Winchester and Member of the North Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition