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According to many different sources and research studies, the United States may be affected by an opioid crisis due to the rising number of people who are taking these serious medications.
When these drugs are overprescribed or given to patients who don’t really need them, those patients can become addicted and may struggle with all of the regular aftermaths of addiction.
Should Pharmacies and Drug Manufacturers Be Held Accountable for the Opioid Crisis?
As a result, many people are coming forward with lawsuits associated with the opioid crisis, which may mean that pharmaceutical companies are responsible. A similar crisis emerged over tobacco in the 1990 but new lawsuits are asking whether the opioid crisis is a similar one.
Opioid abuse is rampant in numerous different states where paramedics are increasingly spending taxpayer dollars and time to respond to overdoses. In some places, coroner’s offices are running out of rooms to store bodies that have been claimed by the opioid crisis because of overdose.
In Ohio, for example, approximately 20 percent of the state’s population was given an opioid in 2016 and the state leads the nation in overdose deaths.
Some advocates and attorneys general are now helping consumers to file lawsuits regarding the opioid crisis, questioning whether or not the pharmaceutical companies who downplayed the addictive nature of these serious medications and who marketed them regularly should be held responsible for the consequences of the crisis.
There has been precedent established in cases like this before. For example, in 1998, 46 states and six other jurisdictions engaged in a settlement agreement against the tobacco industry. This was the biggest civil litigation settlement that the United States had seen at that time. State attorneys general took the first action to sue tobacco companies arguing that the companies should be responsible for paying for the cost of the addiction.
Lawsuits on the Rise for Opioid Crisis Injuries and Overdoses
Suits regarding the opioid crisis have already been filed in Ohio, Illinois, Mississippi, Orange and Santa Clara counties in California, and four counties in New York. The Cherokee Nation also initiated a lawsuit recently against pharmacies and distributors over the opioid crisis.
There is some evidence that pharmaceutical companies may have been engaged in tactics and activities that led to the epidemic. One drug maker marketed oxycodone as relieving pain for patients for up to 12 hours even though they knew that the drug would not last that time period. When the drug did not last as long as was marketed, the patient suffered withdrawal which led to them becoming addicted.
More and more consumers have had a personal connection with the opioid epidemic in the United States in their circle of family or friends. The losses tied to drug addiction and overdose can be devastating for families and communities.
If you or someone you know is suffering from the opioid crisis, contact the experienced attorneys at McDonald Worley today for a FREE case evaluation.