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Should opioid drugmakers, distributors be held accountable for nationwide addiction crisis?

Toby Talbot/AP

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Last week, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer filed a federal suit against the top six manufacturers and three wholesale distributors of prescription painkillers, alleging deceptive marketing practices to boost sales and contributing to the nation’s opioid epidemic.

Although Los Angeles has experienced lower rates of opioid overdose than other parts of the country, the 165-page suit is part of a growing effort to reach a universal settlement against opioid drugmakers and distributors. 30 counties in California are expected to file suit by the end of this week, adding to more than 350 lawsuits consolidated by a federal judge in Ohio. Counties in Northern California include Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado and more.

We check in with the LA city attorney for the latest on the suit and also speak with the senior editor of the libertarian Reason magazine.


Mike Feuer, Los Angeles city attorney; he tweets @CityAttorneyLA

Jacob Sullum, senior editor at Reason magazine and syndicated columnist covering drug policy, criminal justice and civil liberties; he is the author of "Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use” (Tarcher/Penguin, 2004); he tweets @jacobsullum