Rhode Island readies legal action against drug firms

Democratic Lt. Gov. Dan McKee and several Rhode Island communities plan to announce legal action against companies that officials say are responsible for the proliferation of prescription opioids in the state.

McKee’s office says the “joint initiative” will be announced on Monday.

The mayors of Warwick, Central Falls, Pawtucket, North Providence, Cumberland and Johnston were slated to participate, along with municipal officials from East Providence and Richmond.

Nationally, more than a dozen states and more than 200 municipalities have filed lawsuits accusing drug makers of contributing to the deadly opioid addiction crisis. The companies have denied wrongdoing.

Fall River, Massachusetts announced this week it planned to sue opioid producers and distributors, and Springfield said it had retained a law firm to represent the city in litigation against pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors.

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