The opioid epidemic has gotten so bad the chances are high that you know someone within your social sphere who has a friend or family member that has suffered a tragic loss due to its severity. The epidemic has claimed over 300,000 lives over the past few decades 1 and some estimates predict the number could increase by another 500,000 going through the next ten years.
It is true that mainly heroin and fentanyl take up the largest proportion of overdoses from opioids. Yet, the largest chunk of opioid addicted people started their addiction with perfectly legal painkillers 2 that were prescribed by a doctor. How Americans solve this epidemic is open to debate, but in order to solve the problem we must acknowledge if any legal accountability should exist for companies that manufacture, distribute, and sell these dangerous opioids on the open market, even if it is through legal prescription.
Of course there already exists both federal, civil and criminal actions against physicians and pharmacies for inappropriately prescribing opioids. What we are starting to see arise now are a spectrum of lawsuits filed against those aforementioned opioid manufacturers and their distributors. These lawsuits have increased dramatically since the early OO’s in both scope and profile. Most of these filings fall squarely on the laps of Purdue Pharma who is responsible for the popular painkiller OxyContin (oxycodone). These filings were mainly personal injury claims from people suffering with addiction or more tragically on behalf of those who overdosed.
What do you think about these lawsuits and the Drug makers? Should Drug manufacturers be held accountable for how their product affects people? Comment below and share your thoughts.