THE PILL PUSHERS BEHIND THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC
Every single day nearly 180 Americans die from an opioid overdose. This daily reminder remains yet pharmaceutical companies and doctors continue to push these gateways down the proverbial rabbit hole in the name of medicine. On October 26, 2017, President Trump finally declared America’s opioid crisis to be a “national emergency.”
In too many cases, opioid addiction starts with the unfortunate trip to the emergency room. A car accident, a trip and fall accident, a dislocated shoulder playing sports, any everyday unfortunate occurrence could thrust the American consumer into a scenario which places them at serious risk without their having any clue. A 2015 study appearing in the Annals of Emergency Medicine found that 17 percent of ER patients who had started on opioid medications for short-term pain were still taking them a year later. The alarming nature of that statistic is compounded when combined with the figures associated with non-ER physician prescribed opioids.
There are many persons and institutions that bear responsibility for America’s opioid epidemic, including big pharmaceutical companies and their distributors, dishonest or naive physicians, or even the Department of Justice. However, the common denominator in every overdoses resulting from a legally prescribed narcotic is PROFITS.
The reality is that big pharmaceutical companies, like big tobacco, have long been well aware of the addictive nature of their products, yet continue to push the product as safe. Somewhere along the line profits replaced protecting the consumer. Fortunately, law firms are stepping up to the plate to hold big pharmaceuticals responsible for their reckless behavior. These lawsuits claim that opioid manufacturers and distributors exploited patients, and caused or contributed to the plaintiffs’ (or their loved ones’) addictions to controlled substances, which ultimately led to injury or death.
Some factual situations our firm would like to investigate as a potential case on behalf of individuals:
- Patient was prescribed and used brand-name prescription opioids. All of these brand names will fall within one of these categories:
- Oxycodone (e.g., Oxycontin)
- Propoxyphene (e.g., Darvocet)
- Hydromorphone (e.g., Dilaudid)
- Meperidine (e.g., Demerol)
- Died from opioid overdose
- Hospitalized due to overdose
From the desk of: Joseph G. Alvarez, Esq.