Nashville could soon join a list of city and state governments suing opioid drug makers and distributors in an effort to hold those companies accountable for massive costs to taxpayers as communities battle opioid addiction.
"We’ve seen our communities be devastated by the addiction to prescription opioids by the over-promotion of opioids in our community by the pharmaceutical companies and by the failure of distributors to report suspicious orders of large amounts of opioid medications in our community," said attorney Mark Chalos, whose team will represent Nashville if the city sues.
Chalos said his team would first compile the costs Nashville has incurred from fighting opioid addiction. That includes looking at EMS, police, and sheriff calls to overdoses and money lost at Metro General Hospital for treating addicts.
Chalos believes the costs add up to millions, if not tens of millions of dollars.
Cities nationwide allege drug makers have failed to responsibly distribute drugs, causing a surplus of pills and sparking the cycle of addiction.
"What we have seen in Nashville and in our region is millions of pills being sold in a community where there aren’t millions of people," Chalos said.
Council members voted to pass Mayor Barry's resolution during Tuesday night's meeting.