Weber County is suing opioid makers and distributors over the effects of prescription painkiller abuse

(Sue Ogrocki | The Associated Press) In this Aug. 5, 2010, file photo, a pharmacy technician poses for a picture with hydrocodone and acetaminophen tablets, also known as Vicodin, at the Oklahoma Hospital Discount Pharmacy in Edmond, Okla. Opioids including Vicodin and fentanyl patches worked no better than Tylenol and other over-the-counter pills at relieving chronic back pain and hip and knee arthritis in a yearlong study of mostly men at Minneapolis VA clinics. Both groups had slight improvement.

Ogden • Another county in Utah is suing opioid makers and distributors over what critics call the ill effects of prescription painkiller abuse.

Weber County Commissioner James Ebert announced the 240-page lawsuit on Thursday.

The Standard-Examiner reports it names 24 defendants, including opioid makers Purdue Pharma, Teva Pharmaceuticals and Cephalon.

Purdue makes OxyContin. It says in a statement that curbing opioid abuse is its fight, too.

Ebert says the intent isn’t to get the drugs off the market but to change how they’re marketed and prescribed.

Similar suits have been filed by Tooele, Summit and Salt Lake counties.

They accuse companies of downplaying dangers of opioid addiction, contributing to a spike in overdoses and a health crisis that costs communities millions to fight.

State data say downtown Ogden had the highest per-capita rate of opioid deaths in Utah in 2014 and 2015.

Return to Story