HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Twenty-one hospitals in Alabama, including Crestwood in Huntsville, are suing some of the makers of opioid-based drugs.

Those manufacturers include Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Laboratories and more than 40 other companies. reports that the suit was filed September 10th and it claims the drug manufacturers, distributors, and retailers took part in a practice of making false assurances about addiction risks associated with opioid products for decades.

The suit also claims the companies influenced physicians and health care providers to increase prescription patterns by using deceptive marketing strategies

They claim that the opioid epidemic has now caused the hospitals to make large investments in people, processes, and facilities in order to care for patients with health problems associated with opioid addiction.

The cost from the opioid epidemic to the health care system is estimated by industry analysts to be around $215.7 billion from 2001 to 2017. The costs are mainly attributed to overdose-related emergency department visits.

This case involving Alabama hospitals is similar to hundreds of other ones filed by hospitals across the country.