The Orange County Board of Commissioners voted last week to join over 200 governments nationwide in suing opioid manufacturing and distribution companies.
In the board meeting last week, an attorney from the McHugh Fuller Law Group, who is representing Orange County, gave a presentation to the commissioners on the state of the opioid crisis in North Carolina.
The lawsuit will primarily target three of the nation’s largest opioid distributors — Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen and McKesson Corp. — to determine if the companies have been negligent in reporting suspicious orders and activities to the Drug Enforcement Administration. According to the law group, drug manufacturers and distributors are required to report suspicious activity by the Controlled Substances Act.
Although opioid related deaths and overdoses in Orange County are lower than the national average, Orange County Commissioner Penny Rich said the crisis is still greatly impacting the county.
“It is a problem, it’s a growing problem, and the whole idea (with the lawsuit) is to try and get this under control,” Rich said. “(The opioid distributors) are putting a burden on our counties, on our health department, on our social services, on our sheriff's department, and it's costly.”