Cuomo Aims To Recoup $2 Billion For NY From Opioid Manufacturers

Steve Burns
September 11, 2019 - 8:19 am
Opioids (Getty)

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- A new lawsuit is on the way from Governor Andrew Cuomo, which aims to hold drug manufacturers accountable for the opioid epidemic and recoup the money consumers lost as a result of it.

The opioid crisis is not just a crisis but a conspiracy, according to Governor Cuomo.

"The opioid scheme is as diabolical, as brazen, as obnoxious and offensive as anything i have seen," he said.

The Department of Financial Services has determined that New York consumers have overpaid an estimated $2 billion in insurance premiums over the past 10 years due to the manufacturers' misrepresentation of the safety and efficacy of opioids.

They believe that this has resulted in the over-prescription of opioids, additional addiction treatment and treatment of other adverse health effects associated with opioid addiction.

The Department of Financial Services will seek fines and restitution from the opioid industry, and is directing insurers to fully cooperate with these actions.

Cuomo believes that it not only resulted in thousands of lost lives, but it also meant big increases in health insurance premiums.

"Health insurance companies had billions of dollars in additional costs as a result of the fraud caused by the drug companies." Cuomo said.

"They're not going to get away with it." he added.

If the suit is successful, officials say they'll work with insurance companies to figure how a potential rebate might be distributed.