Why 16 PA Counties Are Suing OxyContin Drug Maker

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Dauphin County Coroner Graham Hetrick and Assistant Chief Deputy Coroner Lynn Choborda discuss blood test results. Like many Pennsylvania counties, Dauphin has had a steady increase in drug overdose deaths. (Brett Sholtis/Transforming Health)

HARRISBURG, PA (WITF) – York County Solicitor Glenn Smith knows the county coroner’s phone number by heart. He calls often to get the most recent number of drug overdose deaths, a number that increases almost every day.

“As of today?” said County Coroner Pam Gay. “Twenty-two confirmed, another 25 suspected. We just had two this morning.”

York County has been hit hard by the opioid crisis, with 176 overdose deaths last year. It is one of 16 Pennsylvania counties to sue Purdue Pharmaceuticals and other companies that make prescription opioids.

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