ALBANY, N.Y. (WENY) -- New York's Department of Financial Services (DFS) is taking action against opioid manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacy benefit managers to secure $2 billion for New York consumers who, Governor Cuomo's office says, have shouldered the cost of the ongoing opioid epidemic in the form of higher insurance premiums.

This overpayment is due to the costs associated with opioid manufacturers misrepresenting the safety and efficacy of opioids which in turn has resulted in the over-prescription of opioids, additional addiction treatment, and treatment of other adverse health effects associated with opioid addition.

The governor's office says DFS will seek fines and restitution from the opioid industry, and is directing insurers to fully cooperate with these actions.

"These companies defrauded the insurance companies, the health insurance companies, and health insurance companies had billions of dollars in additional costs as a result of the fraud caused by the drug companies," Cuomo said. "Health insurance companies were paying these prescriptions. They were then paying for the refill of the prescription. They were then paying for the emergency room when the person overdosed. They were paying for the treatment facility when the person went into treatment. All those costs, those health insurance costs, get paid ultimately by who? By you."

Additionally, DFS will be holding hearings across the state to expose the problem to consumers and generate transparency with respect to the impact on the health insurance system.