Patients want the Maine AG to sue makers of opiate painkillers

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Dozens of patients want the Maine Attorney General to file a class action lawsuit against the manufacturers of opiate painkillers.

Similar lawsuits against some drug manufacturers are pending in other states, including several counties in New York, California and the city of Chicago.

Dawson Julia, a medical marijuana caregiver, is collecting written testimony from some patients who are struggling with addiction after being prescribed opioids at a young age. Julia delivered the letters to the Attorney General’s Office in Augusta this morning.  Julia says Attorney General Janet Mills met several times with lobbyists who is advocating for the patients.

Julia says Mills is looking into the possibility of filing a class action lawsuit or possibly joining an ongoing lawsuit filed in another state.  If filed the lawsuit could potentially argue that some pharmaceutical companies, have financially benefited from advertising practices that misled doctors, patients, and the medical community, resulting in the over prescription of strong pain medication.  If Maine pursues a lawsuit – patients wants any potential financial settlement to be used to find rehab and addiction programs.  

Attorney General Janet Mills did not respond to our request for an interview. Her spokesman says her office will not comment on any ongoing ‘investigation. – which are confidential under state law’. 

We will continue to update the story on NEWS CENTER.

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