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Big Pharma Punished for Opioid Epidemic

Tens of thousands of people die every year from the opioid epidemic. Now, pharmaceutical companies are starting to face consequences.

Combatting the epidemic through the courts

Thousands of similar lawsuits aim at holding big pharma accountable for the tens of thousands of deaths related to the opioid crisis. One proposed settlement would reportedly force the Sackler family to give up ownership of the entirety of Purdue Pharma and pay out a staggering $3 billion of their own money. Beginning in the 1990s, pharma companies began encouraging doctors to prescribe opioids at higher rates. In 2017 alone 11.4 million people misused opioid prescriptions. 886,000 turned to heroin as a cheaper alternative and over 91,000 died from an opioid-related overdose. In 2017 the U.S. declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency.

While state by state, executives in the pharmaceutical industry are expecting to go to court. It started with a few states, whose rural areas experienced the devastation of the opioid epidemic and sought to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable with lawsuits. Now, the movement is spreading: New states are filing suits over the opioid crisis at a rapid pace. But so are cities and counties, aiming to cease potentially dangerous opioid distribution practices, and recoup the enormous past and future costs. That expense includes caring for, treating, and sometimes burying the addicted; supporting their children; and paying paramedics, police, and city officials.

Chicago was the first city to take legal action in 2014, but over a dozen others have decided to file lawsuits in the past few years. Drug companies marketed and sold too many prescription drugs to too many patients, they argue, without offering adequate and accurate information about their risks. As a result, thousands of users have become dependent, often turning to harder versions of those originally prescribed opioids. In most cases, the pharmaceutical companies in question have continued to vehemently deny wrongdoing and reaffirmed their commitment to combatting the epidemic and promoting responsible use.

Brut.

08/29/2019 11:57 AM
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27 comments

  • Kevin K.
    08/29/2019 12:24

    The kid sellingnickle and dime bags in prison. While the white rich executives live their opulent lives. What's even more bizarre is how many ins co co opted on the opioids. I guess just like the bankers no one will see the inside of a prison.

  • Mitchell T.
    08/29/2019 13:27

    Half a Billion dollars is a chump change to big Parma... Besides, they'll just raise the price of their products by a few bucks and never miss the Cash.

  • Brut
    08/29/2019 14:03

    As a doctor, he wrote prescriptions to feed his own opioid addiction. Now, he's joining the fight against fentanyl — the deadliest drug in America.

  • Guadalupe J.
    08/29/2019 16:19

    BIG PHARMA, not CANCER, killed my Father. BP should be held accountable for this as well.

  • L L.
    08/29/2019 17:54

    THE COST OF MEDICINE FOR US SENIORS WILL GO UP TO PAY FOR THESE LAWSUITS LAWYERS ARE THE ONLY ONES MAKING MONEY BIG PARMA DOESN'T CARE

  • Julio S.
    08/29/2019 22:09

    The ones taking the taxes should be punished too!!! Hello!! Money hungry Pigs!!!

  • David B.
    08/30/2019 01:19

    They lose a lawsuit because their product....works?

  • Steve M.
    08/30/2019 02:19

    Dumbest law suit in the world the opioids that people are over dosing on come across the southern border and our find assed government sues the pharmacutical company

  • Ruby Y.
    08/30/2019 05:21

    Until we know what those painkiller drugs its composition we are also vulnerable to have drug addiction, Some painkillers can make a person hallucinate,numb, aggressive, uncontrollable and violent. It can cause death with drug overdose, if your still alive and addict it change a persons behavior your senses are numb like a living dead it attacked your heart and nervous system. Addicts substitute other drugs that has same effect as uppers and downers. People should learn from those high profile personalities who died from drug overdose. Surely we have Opiod Crisis and Pharmacists and doctors are affected with the results to their patients where ever they end up. its about time to regulate over the counter pain killers. surely we are accountable for what we used and buy but the drug makers should also be accountable for letting know the public of the damage it can do to our health by regulating the drugs that can be use by addicts as alternative psychedelic drugs.

  • Scott G.
    08/30/2019 10:27

    Many of us use these meds responsibly and need them for a more quality life! This will only harm us while the abusers will continue to do what they do!

  • Mourad K.
    08/30/2019 12:07

    And the money goes to..

  • Mike R.
    08/30/2019 20:10

    NO big pharmaceutical companies are not facing consequences this big law suit will just be passed along to us in the form of higher drug cost and the democrats will stuff their pockets with the winnings

  • Nick L.
    08/30/2019 20:15

    No the federal government who's job it was to regulate these drugs are at fault also ... plus the doctors who prescribed it to people

  • Aaron P.
    08/30/2019 22:02

    PEOPLE MAKE THEIR OWN DUMB CHOICES. I don't see big pharma selling crack but what do you know whole cities full of crackheads. Stop passing the blame for what individual's decide to do. Some people really need the medication but now it's gonna be way harder to get and way more expensive

  • Josh S.
    08/30/2019 22:30

    I'm sure they'll make more laws that just hurt ppl who actually need them and do little to nothing to stop this crisis. Wanna slow the drug problem? Make everything legal. Drive down the price to push out the illicit market and tax it. Then at least you can regulate it so ppl get the same dose every time driving down the overdose rate. There have always been drugs and will always be drugs. I don't trust what docs say because I've experienced their lies and profiling for myself

  • Nick S.
    08/31/2019 09:01

    And people misusing drugs even though they're clearly told not to is the drug company's fault.... how? This is stupid.

  • Cesar D.
    08/31/2019 13:16

    Wait I thought Mexican chapo was the king pin noooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jerry B.
    08/31/2019 14:14

    Just wonderful abuse medications sue company that makes them for your own bad choices and everyone gets to pay your tab when their prescription goes up in price

  • Carl W.
    08/31/2019 17:35

    So now all of us that take them responsibly and don't abuse or sell them on the streets are going to get access to them cut off so our only choice is to become full blown heroin addicts, really smart decision the government has come up with, I'm sure it will work like gangbusters!!! NOT!!!

  • Jacob F.
    08/31/2019 18:56

    Still a choice 🥶