America's Ongoing Opioid Crisis: Who's Responsible?

America's Ongoing Opioid Crisis: Who's Responsible?

Posted By The Maher Law Firm || 15-Dec-2017

Many have argued that Big Pharma, specifically Purdue Pharma, is responsible for the opioid crisis that is currently sweeping our country. This popular sentiment was actually backed up by former DEA Agent and whistleblower Joe Rannazzisi on “60 Minutes.” However, Rannazzisi added a new twist to this view when he said, “the opioid crisis was allowed to spread - aided by Congress, lobbyists, and a drug distribution industry that shipped, almost unchecked, hundreds of millions of pills to rogue pharmacies and pain clinics providing the rocket fuel for a crisis that, over the last two decades, has claimed 200,000 lives.”

The evidence of Big Pharma being complicit in the opioid epidemic goes all the way back to a book published in 2003 called, “Pain Killer: A “Wonder” Drug’s Trail Of Addiction And Death.” In the book, author Barry Meier revealed how Purdue Pharma knowingly and willingly put corporate profits above the safety of the public. Nearly 13 years later, a Los Angeles Times investigative report revealed that, “Big Pharma had created a massive legal opiate addiction, which directly led to the heroin epidemic because pharmaceutical corporations’ own addiction to profit arguably trumps any concern it may have had for patients.”

In 2001, when Purdue Pharma began marketing OxyContin, the company claimed that their new drug would significantly lower the addiction rate caused by legal opioid pain medication. Interestingly, FDA chief Dr. Curtis Wright resigned after approving OxyContin and eventually took a high-paying job with Purdue Pharma. The company then used the FDA approval to embark on a $200 million marketing campaign to target cancer patients, people with muscle aches and broken bones, and those experiencing post-surgery pain.

In 2007, Purdue Pharma and three employees pled guilty to criminal charges that the company had misled doctors and patients.

Want to learn more about the opioid crisis? Contact our Orlando team of dangerous drugs lawyers to find out how we can help you today.

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