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Delaware County Files Lawsuit Against Manufacturers Of Pain Killers

MEDIA, Pa. (CBS) -- Delaware County has filed a civil suit against more than half-dozen pharmaceutical companies, along with doctors, who advised those companies.

"Those pharmaceutical companies have made billions of dollars off the deaths of our children and our loved ones," said Delaware County Councilman David White.

Attorney Bob Mongeluzzi says this suit will show pharmaceutical companies funded false companies like the American Pain Foundation, which...

"Created disinformation to hoodwink and convince doctors that opioids weren't addictive," he said.

Mongeluzzi says the result of that campaign: in 2014, 20-percent of every doctor visit resulted in a prescription of opioids.

Delaware County is the first in Pennsylvania to file suit against the drugmakers, though other states, municipalities, or counties across the country have filed.

Mongeluzzi says there is potential for class-action with a potential ending similar to the tobacco settlement.

Purdue Pharmaceuticals released the following statement in response to the lawsuit.

"While we vigorously deny the allegations, we share public officials' concerns about the opioid crisis and we are committed to working collaboratively to find solutions. OxyContin accounts for less than 2% of the opioid analgesic prescription market nationally, but we are an industry leader in the development of abuse-deterrent technology, advocating for the use of prescription drug monitoring programs and supporting access to Naloxone -- all important components for combating the opioid crisis."

Teva Pharmaceuticals says they have no comment.

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