(CLEVELAND) – A lawsuit filed late yesterday in Cleveland, Ohio on behalf of Teamsters’ Health and Welfare Funds in West Virginia and Ohio demands accountability for the opioid crisis and the toll it has taken on Teamsters and their health and welfare funds.

The lawsuit takes aim at pharmacy benefit managers along with a range of opioid drug manufacturers and distributors alleging a highly-coordinated scheme promoting opioids to treat pain at the expense of Americans, including thousands of Teamster members, retirees and family members. The lawsuit is among the first looking to hold pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs)--which administer and manage the prescription drug programs provided by the benefit plans--accountable for their role in fueling the opioid epidemic.

“The opioid crisis is devastating American families across the country particularly in communities where Teamsters work and live,” said Ken Hall, General Secretary-Treasurer of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters whose Local Union’s health and welfare fund in the hard-hit state of West Virginia is among the plaintiffs. “Our nation’s pharmaceutical distributors and manufacturers have put profits before people and it’s got to stop.”