Kalamazoo considers joining GR in big pharma lawsuit to fight opioid crisis

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KALAMAZOO, Mich– Kalamazoo County is considering joining 30-other counties in a lawsuit against big pharmaceutical companies when it comes to the opioid crisis.

You may remember last week, Grand Rapids announced it will be taking part in the suit. There are 24 major pharmaceutical companies are accused of racketeering to profit from highly addictive opioids. The lawsuit claims the drug manufacturers, distributors, and retailers pushed opioids as a safe drug.

During a meeting in Kalamazoo on Tuesday, people had the chance to voice their opinions on if the county should join the suit. among the speakers was one man who says his roommate died of an overdose.

“They didn’t treat anything for her. She died so that people could make some money and that`s what this is all about.”

“The dying has to stop, when is death above profit?,” questioned Kalamazoo resident,  Fred Lawrence. “Our commissioners see that. It’s an epidemic. In Ohio it`s an epidemic, in Pennsylvania it`s an epidemic, in California, it`s an epidemic.”

One the commissioners discussed how the lawsuit may impact the community and help them move forward.

“The lawsuit will actually give us some tools and resources that we can put back into the community that can help with creating and healthy environment so we can help people on their journey to recovery,” said Commissioner Chairwoman, Stephanie Moore. “We can help the clinicians and practitioners that are dealing with individuals who are overdosing and succumbing to their addiction which is really being fueled by opioid use and abuse.”

Votes were not cast Tuesday evening, but it was recommended that county administrators do more research. They hope to have a decision regarding joining the suit by next month.

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