Are Drug Companies Behind the Opioid Crisis?
Opioid abuse is at an all-time high. It has become so bad that in some states – Ohio, for example – that morgues are running out of storage room for bodies, emergency medical professionals are being treated for PTSD and communities are dangerously short of the resources necessary to handle the crisis. Ohio now leads the nation in overdose deaths.
793 million doses of opioid medications were prescribed in Ohio during 2012. This excessive number would be enough to give every resident – man, woman, and child – with an estimated 68 pills a day. In 2016, a fifth of the state population was prescribed one of these medications.
Ohio Opioid Lawsuits
According to the current opioid lawsuit being held in Ohio, the companies manufacturing these drugs created this huge crisis by marketing the drugs as safe and effective pain medication while failing to include warnings as to how addictive these substances could be. Instead, this was downplayed – undoubtedly to create more sales for the manufacturers. The lawsuit is seeking restitution for consumers in Ohio, as well as the Ohio Department of Medicaid who claims to have paid for an excessive number of opioid prescriptions.
Significant evidence has been levied against the pharmaceutical companies which shows they engaged in activities leading to the ongoing on-going crisis. An investigation carried out by Los Angeles Times found documentation stating the manufacturer of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma, knew their medication did not last the twelve hours stated on the labeling. This led to withdrawal symptoms between doses in many cases. In turn, this led to some of those patients becoming addicted to OxyContin.
Purdue Pharma stated that they share concerns on the opioid crisis with the attorney general. They claim to be collaborating with him to find explanations to the issue.
Current State of the Opioid Crisis
The tragic fact of the matter is that 175 Americans lose their lives every day to overdosing on opioid medications. There are thousands of citizens struggling with addiction to these substances, and the rising epidemic covers nearly all demographics.
Between 2000 and 2015, over half a million deaths related to opioids were recorded in the United States. 2015 alone saw over 33K deaths from opioids. According to the CDC, the states with the largest afflicted populations include Ohio, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Rhode Island This number is high enough that an official public health emergency has been declared. This declaration allows for much-needed resources, services, and personnel to be allocated to fighting the epidemic.
These shocking numbers seem even starker when compared to available historic data. This information shows that opioid overdose deaths in the United States have quadrupled over the last decade. The main culprit behind these rising numbers appears to be a drastic increase in the number of painkillers being prescribed by doctors around the country.
Numerous lawsuits have been levied against opioid manufacturers. If you believe that you have been adversely affected by a prescription painkiller, you may be able to get restitution. Drugwatcher.org is dedicated to keeping people informed about public health issues. We can grant you a free review of your case if you contact us through our website.