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Bexar County Prepares To Face Big Pharma In Billion-Dollar Opioid Trial

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Marco Verch https://www.flickr.com/photos/30478819@N08/46576857245 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Like many other cities who have been affected by the opioid crisis, Bexar County is suing big pharmaceutical companies for their role in manufacturing and escalating the epidemic for financial gain.

 Allegations of misleading marketing and an oversaturation of the market with millions of pain pills have placed drug companies like Johnson & Johnson, Purdue Pharma and Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. at the center of the nation's upheaval.The flood of opioids caused rampant addiction and a devastating loss of life in communities across the country. In Bexar County, there were more than 1,300 opioid-related deaths from 2011-2016. Bexar also ranks number one in the state for babies born addicted to opioids.Law firm Phipps Deacon Purnell PLLC filed the civil lawsuit last year on behalf of the county and the case will be one of Texas' first to go to trial in October 2020. If the court rules in their favor, damages could exceed $1 billion.

What is the expected outcome? What does Bexar County hope to achieve? Will the results of this lawsuit indicate future outcomes for those filed by other Texas counties?

What's being done on the local level to address the ongoing opioid crisis?

Guest: T.J. Mayes, chair of the Bexar County Opioid Task Force and junior partner with the firm Phipps Deacon Purnell PLLC which represents Bexar County in the opioid lawsuit

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 210-614-8980, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet at @TPRSource.  

*This interview was recorded on Thursday, August 8.

 

Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.