Dayton Mayor and candidate for Ohio Governor Nan Whaley released the following statement in support of suing the big drug companies for the heroin epidemic they created, also calling for action now to save addicts, families and communities:
“I support suing the drug companies and holding them accountable for creating the heroin epidemic and the state of emergency that exists in Ohio today. But people are dying today. Families are losing loved ones today. Our police, fire and first responders are being stretched beyond the breaking point today, and taxpayers are getting stuck with the bill. That’s why I have vowed to hold these drug companies accountable on Day One as Governor. The drug companies made this mess. They’re going to pay to clean this up on Day One.
“A lawsuit is the right thing to pursue, but as we witnessed with the tobacco class-actions, it can take years for justice to be done. The drug companies have every reason to drag this out so they can continue to profit off the devastation they have caused with this heroin epidemic. We need justice now, and we need justice later.”
Under Nan’s leadership, Dayton was one of the first cities in Ohio to declare a state of emergency that allowed the City to institute a needle exchange program. She worked to ensure that all of Dayton’s first responders are equipped with life-saving Naloxone. And at the U.S. Conference of Mayors, she led an effort to pass a resolution to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for the damage they’ve done.