Opioid Crisis Sparks Investigations, Lawsuits
Investigators and safety advocates argue that the over-prescription of opioids and the downplaying of the significant addiction risks associated with them has caused an opioid crisis in the United States.
Investigators believe that drug company tactics are responsible for the development of the opioid crisis which has led to many different instances of addiction and overdose, and generated many health care expenses tied to treatment.
Beyond the highly addictive nature of the drugs, the marketers of the drugs are accused of engaging in unethical practices to promote the drugs without properly warning of the risks.
According to a number of lawsuits surrounding the opioid crisis, the drug manufacturers tried to encourage over-prescription of the medicines that increased addiction and overdose risks.
Details of Opioid Crisis
Many different opioids exist and are causing an addiction problem across the United States but Fentanyl is one of the most dangerous on the market because it is 50 times more potent than heroine.
Research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that this synthetic opioid is tied to an increase in overdoses by 540 percent in the last couple of years.
Areas highly affected by the opioid crisis are struggling to keep up with management of the health-related costs and the deaths due to addiction and overdose. Many are considering their options to file a lawsuit.
Safety advocates allege that the drug manufacturers are at least partly responsible for this epidemic. Some of the claims in lawsuits related to the opioid crisis claim that drug manufacturers lied to insurance companies, provided incentives to physicians to prescribe drugs despite their high risk of addiction and fabricating information about patients.
A recent congressional investigation found that the opioid crisis may now be affected by off label use or even approved use of medicine Subsys, which is a fast acting spray that is used under a patient’s tongue.
Currently, this is used to treat cancer patients who have pain that does not respond to any other painkillers, but the chances of an overdose are quite high, and while it is highly effective it is also highly addictive.
The manufacturer of that medication is accused of running an elaborate scheme to push the drug on non-cancer patients, even though no clinical data has been submitted to government agencies indicating that it is safe or effective to manage pain that is not tied to a cancer diagnosis.
The opioid crisis has led a number of investigative committees and Congress to pursue further information about how these drugs are developed and marketed to members of the public as well as the physicians who prescribe them. The opioid crisis has also led to number of different lawsuits being filed by state attorney’s general.
If you or someone you know has been affected by the opioid crisis, consult with an attorney about your rights and eligibility to file a lawsuit. Schedule a free consultation with the lawyers at McDonald Worley today.