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For decades, opioids like OxyContin, hydrocodone, morphine, and fentanyl were marketed as a miracle solution to the age-old problem of pain relief for people dealing with pain. But with the relief came a serious risk of addiction. Examples of prescription opioids include, but are not limited to: Codeine, Hydrocodone (name brand Vicodin®), Morphine (name brands Kadian®, Avinza®), Oxycodone (name brands OxyContin®, Percocet®) and Tramadol.
It’s estimated that more than 55,000 Americans die each year from a drug overdose, which has become the leading cause of death of individuals under the age of 50. Sixty percent of these deaths are caused by opioids. The jump in fatalities over the past 15 years has been staggering, a more than three-times increase. In 2012, the number of opioid prescriptions peaked at more than 255 million, or 81.3 prescriptions for every 100 people in the United States. According to government numbers, there are more than 650,000 opioid prescriptions dispensed every day in the U.S. By 2014, the U.S., with about 5 percent of the global population, consumed about 80 percent of the opioid supply in the world, making it a $24 billion market.
With the U.S. in the grips of an opioid crisis that has killed hundreds of thousands of people, the pharmaceutical manufacturers have made billions of dollars. The family that owns Purdue Pharma, the Sacklers, have become one of the wealthiest families in the country, with a net worth that reached as high as $14 billion in 2015, largely on the strength of the opioid OxyContin’s profits. The family was ranked by Forbes to be among the top 20 richest in the U.S. Other Big Pharma opioid manufacturers under intense scrutiny include companies such as McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson), Endo International, Teva Pharmaceutical, Allergan (formerly Actavis), Watson Pharmaceuticals, Covidien, and Johnson & Johnson.
Approximately 2 million Americans are currently addicted to opioids, with more than 190 million total prescriptions issued each year since 2017. So many people who were just looking for a way to manage their pain instead ended up with a crushing addiction to the pills they were prescribed. And far too often, that addiction ended in tragic death due to an overdose. Other symptoms or impacts caused by opioid addiction include, but are not limited to:
As of October 2019, more than 130 people die every day from opioid-related drug overdoses.
The Opioid Crisis has claimed over 400,000 lives. As the death toll rises, state governments across the nation have begun the process of investigating and bringing legal actions against these manufacturers. Many of these measures have been successful in court, opening the door for claims by individuals who have suffered these painful and tragic consequences.
Among other things, the lawsuits against Big Pharma allege that the companies used deceptive marketing tactics to trick consumers and physicians into believing opioids weren’t dangerous and addictive. With the promise of a “safe” and effective drug, doctors prescribed enough opioids to supply one full prescription per person in 2017.
On October 21, 2019, four drug companies reached a $260 million deal with Ohio counties over their role in the opioid epidemic. The settlement will require drug distributors McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Cardinal Health as well as generic opioid painkiller maker Teva Pharmaceuticals to pay at least $260 million to Cuyahoga and Summit counties. On August 26,, 2019, an Oklahoma judge ruled that drug maker Johnson & Johnson helped ignite the state's opioid crisis by deceptively marketing painkillers, and must pay $572 million to the state. And on September 16, 2019, Purdue Pharma (the maker of OxyContin) filed for bankruptcy as part of its plan to settle litigation with dozens of states and other plaintiffs who say the company fueled the opioid crisis. That bankruptcy filing is part of a $10 billion settlement agreement.
If you or a loved one has lost someone to an opioid overdose you need to speak up! You might be eligible for financial compensation for your pain and suffering. Don’t suffer in silence. Fill out a no-cost claim review to see if you are eligible to receive compensation. – complete the free and easy claim review form today.