Thursday, May 22, 2014

Two California Counties (Orange and Santa Clara) Sue 5 Large Opioid Manufacturers For Deception and False Advertising

Two Cali­for­nia counties (Orange County and Santa Clara County) sued five of the world’s largest nar­cot­ics man­u­fac­tur­ers on Wed­nes­day, ac­cus­ing the com­pan­ies of caus­ing the na­tion’s pre­scrip­tion drug epi­dem­ic by wa­ging a “cam­paign of de­cep­tion” aimed at boost­ing sales of po­tent paink­illers such as Oxy­Con­tin. The Los Angeles Times has a link to this lawsuit which is important in the war against prescription painkiller addiction. The physicians and pharmacists have been blamed for this epidemic without looking at the big pharma manufacturers and advertisers.

The U.S. is awash in opioids. In 2010, 254 million opioid prescriptions were filled in the U.S. - enough to medicate every adult in America around the clock for a month. Opioids - once a niche drug - are now the most prescribed class of drug - more than blood pressure or cholesterol. The lawsuit is an education in how big pharma advertise and spend millions to push off label uses of drugs and minimize the serious risks and outcomes of chronic opioid use.

Prescription drug abuse is a serious public health issue which has caused an epidemic heroin addiction problem in Orange County and across the country since prescription drug users will then turn to heroin once they can no longer obtain their prescription opioids. The largest killer of young males under 30 is prescription drugs and it's from the interactions with alcohol and other drugs that cause respiratory failure.

This will be an interesting lawsuit to watch and all health care providers should read it to understand the big picture of pain management with opioids.

Posted by Tracy Green, Esq.

Green and Associates, Attorneys at Law
Phone: 213-233-2260


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