The effects of opioid abuse have reached epidemic proportions across the United States. City and county governments are clamoring to aid the addicted, with treatment and emergency care for abandoned and orphaned children, and staff-strained EMS departments. Some locales blame the opioid epidemic, at least partially, on negligent pharmaceutical companies, as revealed in a recent news story. Rhode Island residents may be interested to learn more about the complex issue.
Since 2014, states, counties and cities have begun to file lawsuits. Chicago led the way in 2014 as the first city to sue. Almost 10 other cities have followed Chicago's lead and filed suit. The lawsuits usually allege that the drug providers either over-prescribed the medications or downplayed the addictive quality of the medicines.
At least one location, West Virginia, was able to successfully settle its case, winning two settlements totalling over $36 million. Most of the time, pharmaceutical companies and drug distributors express sympathy for the negative effects of the epidemic but deny any wrongdoing in the events. Some of the hardest struck locations have lost thousands to opioid addiction.
Can the states, counties and cities continue to successfully make their claims that negligent pharmaceutical companies are responsible for the problems the locations face? It is hard to tell. In the meantime, individuals in Rhode Island are also experiencing the devastating effects of addiction. If a person feels that his or her addiction is related to the negligent actions of a doctor, or the malpractice of a drug company, he or she may wish to pursue options for justice with an experienced attorney.
Source: citylab.com, "The Cities Suing Big Pharma Over Opioids", Sarah Holder, Oct. 11, 2017