Who Is Responsible for the Opioid Crisis?
Determining who is responsible for the opioid crisis is the latest focus in a series of lawsuits and investigations. Many manufacturers have been blamed for this crisis that’s sweeping the United States leading to significant health care costs and other expenses associated to the epidemic.
The opioid crisis has had ripple effects throughout the United States, leading many regulators, legislators, and safety advocates to speak up. The issues involved in the opioid crisis are complicated, making it hard for any one party to be fully responsible for the prevalence of painkiller medications and their associated side effects.
Some new lawsuits, however, argue that drug manufacturers had every reason to know about the dangers and risks of these medications and that, in failing to warn consumers about the highly addictive nature of the medications, are responsible for the widespread use and abuse of these medications.
Between 1999 and 2015, data shows that 183,000 deaths were tied to prescription opioid overdoses. These numbers and other similar data points have been used to illustrate the severity of the opioid crisis in the United States. Manufacturers such as Purdue Pharma have been targeted in a number of different lawsuits filed by individuals and government entities alleging culpability on behalf of these manufacturers.
According to these opioid crisis lawsuits, the manufacturers knew about the possible addiction risk and the devastating toll that these issues would have on local economies and the country as a whole but continued to aggressively promote these medications and focused only on the benefits as opposed to the risk.
One 2007 outcome led to Purdue pleading guilty to felonies associated with false marketing of their pills.
Government legislators are now getting involved in the investigation in the opioid crisis in an attempt to figure out the best way to curb it. A wide-ranging investigation was recently named by Senator Claire McCaskill from Missouri into the top five biggest opioid manufacturers.
Her goal is to identify how their marketing practices have influenced the opioid crisis. The total impact of the crisis may also be determined by the outcome of opioid-related litigation against pharmaceutical companies like Purdue.
Other consumers and medical officials believe that the Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration in conjunction with prescribing physicians and state regulators may also have some role to play in the opioid crisis.
Many people who become addicted to opioids start off using these drugs with a legitimate prescription and quickly become addicted.
The prevalence of these painkillers throughout the United States has made it relatively easy for people to obtain them without a prescription or by going from doctor to doctor to get their prescription filled.
Many people who have been personally affected by opioids may be curious about their rights.
If you believe you have grounds to file an opioid crisis lawsuit, consult with the experienced attorneys at McDonald Worley today to learn more about the next steps.