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Retired NFL Players Say League Illegally Supplied Them with Prescription Painkillers

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A group of retired National Football League (NFL) players filed a lawsuit this week, alleging the league illegally supplied them with prescription painkillers. The drugs numbed their injuries, and led to medical complications, according to the players.

The players say the NFL obtained and administered the painkillers without prescriptions, the Associated Press reports. The league did not warn the players about the drugs’ potential side effects, the lawsuit alleges. The players say the league wanted them to return to the field quickly, in order to maximize profits.

Some players say they were not told they had broken legs or ankles, and were instead given painkillers. One player said he was given anti-inflammatory medication instead of surgery. The years of free painkillers led to addiction, some players contend.

The NFL would not comment on the lawsuit, which names eight players. Lawyers for the players are seeking class-action status for former players who received narcotic painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, local anesthetics, sleeping aids or other drugs without a prescription. More than 500 other former players have signed on to the lawsuit, according to the lawyers.

The suit seeks to force the NFL to fund a testing and monitoring program to help prevent addiction, injuries and disabilities resulting from painkiller use, the AP notes. The suit also seeks unspecified financial damages.

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