By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Five Philadelphia unions have joined in the quest to recover costs from drug companies connected to the overprescription of opioids. And more suits are on the way.

Two city workers unions, the carpenters, the bricklayers and allied craft union and food services union UNITE HERE have filed suits in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court. One of the attorneys representing the group, Harris Pogust, says the suits name more than a dozen pharmaceutical companies as defendants.

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“The suit alleges conspiracy among the drug companies to push opioids onto the public,” Pogust explained, “and have doctors prescribe them and overprescribe them and claim that they’re safe and effective when, in fact, the science states otherwise.”

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He says the union had to pay not only for the prescriptions but then for rehab when members got addicted. He anticipates filing several more suits this week. He had no estimate on total damages.

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The companies have been named in multiple other suits filed by government entities. Most have denied the charges or noted changes in manufacturing or promoting the drugs.