Dane County will be pressing charges against the pharmaceutical companies it believes are behind the national opioid epidemic, the Dane County Board of Supervisors ruled in a nearly unanimous vote Thursday night.
“The opioid epidemic has hit local communities hard across the United States, and Dane County is no exception,” said County Executive Joe Parisi, when he introduced the resolution in December. “It’s time to tell pharmaceutical companies that enough is enough.”
The rate of opioid-related deaths in Dane County has nearly doubled since 2000, and the rate of heroin fatalities has more than tripled.
“We have major pharmaceutical companies who knowingly marketed a product because it was extremely profitable, not because of their health benefits,” said Mary Kolar, District 1. “This is a crisis that must be addressed.”
By passing the resolution, Dane County joins a growing number of counties nationwide that are taking legal action against pharmaceutical companies in an effort to hold them accountable for the rampant rates of addiction and mortality caused by opioids.