Andy Martin is a pharmacist at Express RX in Carthage. He keeps an eye out for people who might be abusing opioids, by getting to know his patients.
With Jasper County joining a multi-county lawsuit against opioid manufacturers, he has hopes for what they may use their cut of the potential settlement for.
"Hopefully they would find some to enhance educational programs, some preventive programs. Looking to the future to help curb abuse" says Dr. Martin.
Although there is no confirmed amount of money they are seeking from the lawsuit, Commissioner Bartosh says it will be in the millions of dollars.
But the value of a victorious lawsuit, goes deeper than the dollar amount.
"Hopefully we'll get something out of it. If it's not money, maybe we can get them to stop pushing these kinds of drugs" says Bartosh.
Bartosh explains the misinformation some opioid manufacturers used with doctors.
"This stuff is not addictive and they can use it for this and don't be afraid to use it for that. And it says right on the bottle not to use it for certain things and they said 'it's ok, we just do that for safety.'"
In addition to the lawsuit, there's another new way Jasper county is getting on top of the opioid epidemic in the new year.
"With every controlled prescription we fill, we have to submit that data to the monitoring program, so that will give other pharmacies access and other prescribers access to look. So they can see if patients are seeing multiple doctors" says Dr. Martin.
There are 11 pharmaceutical companies named in the lawsuit so far, but one of the attorneys says more will likely be added.
Bartosh says any money received in a potential settlement would go into a reserve fund, but could be moved elsewhere depending on the need.
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