County Wants Painkiller Producer To Pay

By: Heather Haley Email
By: Heather Haley Email

Officials say it's led to widespread addiction and misery throughout Pike County.

They want the company who makes the powerful painkiller OxyContin to pay.

It has been nearly a month since three former pharmaceutical executives with the company Purdue Pharma, the makers of OxyContin, pleaded guilty to misleading the public.

Officials in Pike County say their residents have had to deal with death and trauma due to the drug.

“We have a reputation of being the OxyContin capital of America and we're tired of it,” Pike County Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford said.

Pike County officials say numerous lives have been lost along with devastation and heartbreak all because of the painkiller OxyContin.

“Millions of dollars have been spent caused by the scourge we've had in OxyContin,” Rutherford said.

Officials with the Pike County Fiscal Court have decided to have a lawyer investigate potential legal action against the manufacturer of OxyContin.

Pike County Sheriff Charles Keesee spoke to the fiscal court about the financial strain that OxyContin has put on his department.

“OxyContin is one of the most addictive drugs we have on the market today and a lot of people, no doubt, have gotten addicted to this drug,” Pike County Sheriif Charles Keesee said.

Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford says Gary C. Johnson will act as their attorney and he has already begun his research into the possible lawsuit.

Officials say they would like to have the lawsuit heard in the county so Pike County residents can be on the jury.

“We've just had so many deaths, we can't develop this county until we solve this problem,” Judge Rutherford said.

The three former Purdue Pharma executives are already set to pay more than six hundred and thirty million dollars in the federal suit.

Pike County will see if they can begin a law suit of their own to fix what they call the damage OxyContin has done to the county.

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