Hard-hit Pennsylvania to sue drugmaker over opioid epidemic

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The attorney general of Pennsylvania says he’s filing a lawsuit accusing a pharmaceutical giant of fueling the opioid epidemic.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office said it would announce details of the lawsuit Tuesday afternoon. Pennsylvania is one of the states hardest hit by opioid addiction.

Shapiro’s office two years ago joined with dozens of other states to investigate companies that make and distribute opioid painkillers. Several Pennsylvania counties have already sued drugmakers, and a federal judge in Cleveland is overseeing more than 1,500 lawsuits filed by local governments, American Indian tribes and others against the opioid industry.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says opioids, including prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and illicit drugs such as fentanyl and heroin, were involved in a record 48,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2017.