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Opioid Addiction Lawsuits Bringing Those Accountable to Justice
Last month, I briefly wrote about our country’s opioid crisis. Every day, hundreds of people die from opioid addiction. While there have been many efforts to lower these numbers and help people who have been harmed by the crisis, the situation doesn’t seem to be improving. Many people are unaware of how it began. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), the opioid epidemic started in the late 1990s, when “pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to prescription opioid pain relievers.” In fact, many companies, like Purdue Pharma, claimed their manufactured form of opioids, oxycodone, only had a 1% chance of being addictive to patients. Over the next several years, health care providers began to prescribe opioids in large numbers. Not long after, it became very clear that these types of medications were actually highly addictive. The NIH states, “Opioids have a high potential for causing addiction in some people, even when the medications are prescribed appropriately and taken as directed.” The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the NIH are all striving to address the serious problems surrounding opioid medications. Many of the actions these departments are taking include the following:
companies, and drug wholesalers to hold people accountable for their negligence. Companies have been buried under lawsuits as more and more evidence reveals they failed to properly inform consumers of the dangers of opioids. In several cases, drug companies that were manufacturing a form of opioid admitted to misinforming the doctors they were selling the drugs to. During a serious lawsuit, Purdue Pharma, one of several companies that manufactured the opioid drugs, admitted to “misleading doctors and patients about the addictive potential of OxyContin and mislabeling the drug as ‘abuse- resistant’” in 2007. Within the last five years, Purdue has offered $10–$12 billion to settle the thousands of lawsuits filed against the company and its owners. Companies that neglect to or improperly inform consumers of the medication they’re prescribing or using need to be brought to justice. If you or a loved one has been a victim of the opioid crisis, give us a call to day to see if we can help.
• Strengthening safety and warning labels for opioid medications Requiring drug companies to provide more extensive data regarding the long- term impacts of the medication Improving access to treatment and recovery services While these efforts have been set in motion, they do little to comfort the friends, families, and individuals who have been harmed by this crisis. Help us stop another opioid crisis from happening again in the future by holding the drug companies accountable. For many, holding the people and companies responsible for the damage they’ve wrought over the past two decades is essential. This cry has been heard. Since the opioid crisis began, many lawsuits have been filed against health care providers, pharmaceutical • •
Spreading awareness and understanding of the epidemic
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