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Arkansas Counties, Cities File Joint Lawsuit Against Opioid Manufacturers

Unique, unified approach is unlike any other in the country and ensures recovered damages stay in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (March 21, 2018) – In a unified and unprecedented approach against the opioid drug industry, the state of Arkansas, Arkansas counties and Arkansas cities announced that together they have filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Crittenden County.

This unique litigation approach is unlike any others in the country and will represent 90 percent of Arkansas’s population, with 72 counties and 210 cities participating. It is believed that it will cost billions to stop the Arkansas opioid epidemic and that this money should come from the companies that caused the problem instead of taxpayers.

“Though other lawsuits have been filed in federal courts across the country, Arkansas is the only state that has united in this fashion,” said Chris Villines, executive director of the Association of Arkansas Counties. “Instead of fighting and competing with each other on critically needed settlement dollars for our cities and counties, all of the cities and counties are working together to do what’s best for Arkansas.”

The epidemic is real and has ravaged Arkansas families for years. While the U.S. experiences more than 42,000 fatal overdoses a year, Arkansas experiences over 400, a number that has increased nearly 300 percent since 2000 and coincides with opioid sales quadrupling. Additionally, Arkansas ranks second in the nation for ages 12-17 in misuse of opioids (4.67%) behind Alabama, which is also the only other state with a higher opioid prescribing rate than Arkansas, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“It is hard to find anyone who hasn’t felt the effects of an opioid addiction from family, friends or even in themselves,” said Kirk Lane, Arkansas State Drug Director. “Though great strides have been made recently to curb the epidemic – especially helping cities fund necessary resources like the opiate antagonist Naloxone (Narcan) – much more could be done to fund ongoing programs for education and prevention.”

In 2017, there were more opioid prescriptions than people – enough for every man, woman and child to have 80 pills per year. Hospitals and rehabilitation systems cannot keep pace with the influx of victims. The resources of public safety officials are constantly strained to meet the overwhelming needs of opioid-related emergencies. As a result, the state of Arkansas, its counties, cities and taxpayers have funded the enormous societal costs of the opioid epidemic, but have had insufficient revenue to turn the tide of the epidemic.

“Arkansas’s one-voice approach to this lawsuit is one that gives us a seat at the table,” said Don Zimmerman, executive director of the Arkansas Municipal League. “Neither the state or any county or city is big enough alone; this litigation approach ensures that recovered damages remain in Arkansas.”

For more information about the lawsuit, or to find additional resources on the opioid epidemic in Arkansas, please visit ARCounties.org, ARML.org or APERMA.com.

About the Association of Arkansas Counties (AAC)

The AAC supports and promotes the idea that all elected officials must have the opportunity to act together in order to solve mutual problems as a unified group. To further this goal, the AAC is committed to providing a single source of cooperative support and information for all counties and county and district officials. To learn more, visit ARCounties.org or find the AAC on social media @75ARCounties (Facebook and Twitter) or on LinkedIn.

About the Arkansas Municipal League (AML)

Founded in 1934, the AML exists to act as the official representative of Arkansas cities and towns before the state and federal government, to provide a clearinghouse for information and answers and to offer a forum for discussion and sharing of mutual concerns. In doing these things, the central purpose of the AML is to advance the interest and welfare of the people residing in the cities and towns in Arkansas. To learn more, visit ARML.org or find the AML on Facebook (@Arkansas.Municipal.League) or Twitter (@ARMuniLeague).

About the Arkansas Public Entities Risk Management Association (APERMA)

The APERMA is a comprehensive risk management program created by and for Arkansas public entities. Its mission is to provide protection of the physical and financial assets from a covered loss, to provide responsive claims handling services that are fair to all members and to provide expert legal advice and representation related to all public entity operations. To learn more, visit APERMA.com.

APPENDICES

A. List of Arkansas counties participating
B. List of Arkansas municipalities participating
C. List of named defendants

APPENDIX A: LIST OF ARKANSAS COUNTIES PARTICIPATING

Arkansas
Ashley
Baxter
Benton
Boone
Bradley
Calhoun
Carroll
Chicot
Clark
Clay
Cleburne
Cleveland
Columbia
Conway
Craighead
Crawford
Crittenden
Cross
Dallas
Desha
Faulkner
Franklin
Fulton
Garland
Grant
Green
Hempstead
Hot Spring
Howard
Independence
Izard
Jackson
Johnson
Lafayette
Lawrence
Lee
Lincoln
Little River
Logan
Lonoke
Madison
Marion
Miller
Mississippi
Monroe
Montgomery
Nevada
Newton
Ouachita
Perry
Phillips
Pike
Poinsett
Polk
Pope
Prairie
Randolph
Saline
Scott
Searcy
Sebastian
Sevier
Sharp
St. Francis
Stone
Union
Van Buren
Washington
White
Woodruff
Yell

APPENDIX B: LIST OF ARKANSAS MUNICIPALITIES PARTICIPATING

Alma
Alpena
Altus
Arkadelphia (CLARK CTY. SEAT)
Arkansas City (DESHA CTY. SEAT)
Ash Flat (SHARP CTY. SEAT)
Ashdown (LITTLE RIVER CTY. SEAT)
Augusta (WOODRUFF CTY. SEAT)
Avoca
Barling
Batesville (INDEPENDENCE CTY. SEAT)
Bay
Beebe
Bella Vista
Benton (SALINE CTY. SEAT)
Bentonville (BENTON CTY. SEAT)
Berryville (CARROLL CTY. SEAT)
Bethel Heights
Birdsong
Biscoe
Black Rock
Blytheville (MISSISSIPPI CTY. SEAT)
Bono
Booneville (LOGAN CTY. SEAT)
Bradford
Brinkley
Brookland
Bryant
Bull Shoals
Cabot
Caddo Valley
Calico Rock
Calion
Camden (OUACHITA CTY. SEAT)
Cammack Village
Caraway
Carlisle
Cave Springs
Cedarville
Centerton
Cherokee Village
Cherry Valley
Clarksville (JOHNSON CTY. SEAT)
Clinton (VAN BUREN CTY. SEAT)
Coal Hill
Conway (FAULKNER CTY. SEAT)
Cotton Plant
Cove
Crawfordsville
Crossett
Damascus
Danville (YELL CTY. SEAT)
Dardanelle (YELL CTY. SEAT)
Datto
Dell
DeQueen (SEVIER CTY. SEAT)
DeWitt (AR CTY. SEAT)
Dover
Dumas
Earle
East Camden
El Dorado (UNION CTY. SEAT)
Elkins
Elm Springs
Emerson
England
Eureka Springs (CARROLL CTY. SEAT)
Fairfield Bay
Farmington
Flippin
Fordyce (DALLAS CTY. SEAT)
Foreman
Forrest City (ST. FRANCIS CTY. SEAT)
Fort Smith (SEBASTIAN CTY. SEAT)
Fouke
Fountain Lake
Gentry
Goshen
Gravette
Greenbrier
Greenland
Greenwood
Greers Ferry
Grubbs
Gum Springs
Hampton (CALHOUN CTY. SEAT)
Hardy
Harrison (BOONE CTY. SEAT)
Hartman
Haskell
Hatfield
Hazen
Heber Springs (CLEBURNE CTY)
Helena-West Helena (PHILLIPS CTY. SEAT)
Highfill
Highland
Holly Grove
Hope (HEMPSTEAD CTY. SEAT)
Horatio
Hot Springs (GARLAND CTY. SEAT)
Hoxie
Huntsville (MADISON CTY. SEAT)
Imboden
Jacksonville
Jasper (NEWTON CTY. SEAT)
Jennette
Johnson
Jonesboro (CRAIGHEAD CTY. SEAT)
Junction City
Kensett
Knoxville
Lake City (CRAIGHEAD CTY. SEAT)
Lake View
Lake Village (CHICOT CTY. SEAT)
Lakeview
Lamar
Leachville
Lexa
Lincoln
Little Rock (PULASKI CTY. SEAT)
London
Lonoke (LONOKE CTY. SEAT)
Lowell
Madison
Magnolia (COLUMBIA CTY. SEAT)
Malvern (HOT SPRING CTY. SEAT)
Mammoth Spring
Mansfield
Marianna (LEE CTY. SEAT)
Marion (CRITTENDEN CTY. SEAT)
Marked Tree
Marmaduke
Maumelle
Mayflower
McCaskill
McCrory
McGehee
McRae
Mena (POLK CTY. SEAT)
Menifee
Mineral Springs
Mitchellville
Monticello (DREW CTY. SEAT)
Moorefield
Morrilton (CONWAY CTY. SEAT)
Mountain View (STONE CTY. SEAT)
Mountainburg
Mulberry
Murfreesboro (PIKE CTY. SEAT)
Newark
Newport (JACKSON CTY. SEAT)
North Little Rock
Ogden
Osceola
Oxford
Ozark (FRANKLIN CTY. SEAT)
Pangburn
Paragould (GREENE CTY. SEAT)
Paris (LOGAN CTY. SEAT)
Parkin
Patterson
Pea Ridge
Piggott (CLAY CTY. SEAT)
Pine Bluff (JEFFERSON CTY. SEAT)
Pleasant Plains
Plumerville
Pocahontas (RANDOLPH CTY. SEAT)
Portland
Pottsville
Prairie Grove
Prescott (NEVADA CTY. SEAT)
Rector
Rogers
Russell
Russellville (POPE CTY. SEAT)
Salesville
Searcy (WHITE CTY. SEAT)
Shannon Hills
Sheridan (GRANT CTY. SEAT)
Sherwood
Shirley
Siloam Springs
Smackover
Springdale
St. Charles
St. Paul
Stamps
Star City (LINCOLN CTY. SEAT)
Stephens
Stuttgart
Texarkana (MILLER CTY. SEAT)
Thornton
Tontitown
Trumann
Tuckerman
Valley Springs
Van Buren (CRAWFORD CTY. SEAT)
Vilonia
Walnut Ridge (LAWRENCE CTY. SEAT)
Ward
Warren (BRADLEY CTY. SEAT)
Weiner
West Fork
West Memphis
Whelen Springs
Wickes
Wilmar
Wilmot
Wynne (CROSS CTY. SEAT)
Yellville (MARION CTY. SEAT)

APPENDIX C: LIST OF NAMED DEFENDANTS

Purdue Pharma, L.P.
Purdue Pharma, Inc.
The Purdue Frederick Company
Cephalon, Inc.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, LTD
Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.
Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Johnson & Johnson
Watson Laboratories, Inc.
Actavis Pharma, Inc.
Watson Pharma, Inc.
Actavis, LLC
Endo Health Solutions, Inc.
Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Vintage Pharmaceuticals, LLC
Insys Therapeutics, Inc.
Mallinckrodt, PLC
Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals
Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries, Inc.
Aurobindo Pharma USA, Inc.
Aurolife Pharma, LLC
Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Collegium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc.
Shionogi, Inc.
Abbvie, Inc.
Abbott Laboratories, Inc.
Pernix Therapeutics Holdings, Inc.
Daiichi Sank Yo, Inc.
Forest Laboratories, Inc.
Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Mayne Pharma, Inc.
Apotex, Inc.
West-Ward Pharmaceuticals Corp.
Gemini Laboratories, LLC
Poly-Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Akorn, Inc.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America, LLC
ECR Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Depomed, Inc.
Validus Pharmaceuticals, LLC
Egalet Corporation
Vernalis Therapeutics, Inc.
UCB Pharma, Inc.
Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Vertical Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Sentynl Therapeutics, Inc.
Thodes Technologies, Inc.
Rhodes Technologies, L.P.
Sandoz, Inc.
AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation
Cardinal Health, Inc.
McKesson Corporation
Linden Care, LLC
KJ Medical Management, LLC
CJN Pharmacy Services, LLC
Perry County Food & Drug, Inc.
Mahmood Ahmad, M.D.
United Pain Care, LTD
Shawn Michael Brooks, M.D.
Kirsten Holland
Richard Duane Johns
Christopher Watson

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