Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced Thursday the city has filed a lawsuit targeting pharmaceutical companies.
“These manufacturers and distributors need to pay for the damage they have done,” said Walsh, who went on the offensive against pharmaceutical companies the city says has been at the center of the opioid crisis.
Walsh announced that the city has filed a Superior Court lawsuit against 13 opioid manufacturers, four distributors, and one local doctor.
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That physician, Dr. Fathallah Mashali of New England Wellness and Pain Management, was sentenced earlier this year to eight years in federal prison for health care fraud.
“They put profit ahead of people, knowingly fueling addiction at the expense of human lives,” Walsh said.
City officials say they have spent an estimated $64 million in the past four years alone combatting the opioid crisis and more than 700 Boston residents have died from opioid-related overdoses.
“The opioid epidemic has inflicted unprecedented suffering on the people of Boston. Boston Medical Center sees this every single day throughout our hospital,” said Dr. Michael Botticelli with Boston Medical Center and the executive director of the Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine.
“I remember being pushed to prescribe opioids for our patients, whether or not they truly needed them and being gauged on my work as a physician in doing so,” added Dimock Center President and CEO Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan.
Walsh says a judgment would not only help pay for costs already incurred but fund treatment for the future.
“City departments and taxpayers are shouldering a burden that they did not create and do not deserve,” Walsh said.