Opioid use in the United States has reached epidemic levels. Opioids are highly addictive and dangerous, but have been increasingly prescribed over the past two decades.
In July 2017, President Trump’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis declared that opioids were killing roughly 142 people in the U.S. each day. This tally was vividly described as “September 11th every three weeks.” The CDC reports that, since 1999, opioid prescriptions – and opioid deaths – have quadrupled in the United States. In 2014, almost 2 million Americans abused or were dependent on prescription opioids.
Many victims of America’s opioid epidemic are now filing lawsuits against physicians, pharmacists, and drug wholesalers. The allegations in these lawsuits claim that these doctors and entities caused or contributed to their addictions to prescription painkillers.
What Are Opioids & How Do They Work?
Opioid narcotics are a class of painkiller drugs that bind to opioid receptors to block or reduce feelings of pain. These powerful drugs are often prescribed for patients who have just had surgery or experienced physical trauma from a car accident or sports injury.
The most commonly prescribed opioid medications include:
• Oxycodone (brand names: OxyContin, Roxicodone, Oxecta)
Upon its release in 1995, OxyContin was hailed as a medical breakthrough. The drug became a “blockbuster” and reportedly generated $35 billion dollars in profit. However, OxyContin is a controversial and potentially addictive drug. Its sole active ingredient is oxycodone, a chemical cousin of heroin which is up to twice as powerful as morphine.
Drug manufacturers compete to market “blockbuster” drugs like OxyContin for profit at the expense of patient safety. An increasing number of states are now taking action to sue opioid drug makers for their gross misrepresentation of the safety of these medications.
The allegations include claims that these drug makers were negligent by:
• Over prescribing opioids
• Understating the addictive qualities of opioid drugs
• Failing to warn the public about serious, potentially life-threatening risks associated with opioid use
How Cory Watson Can Help You
Cory Watson Attorneys is a part of the movement to hold Big Pharma accountable for practices that have contributed to the growing epidemic of opioid abuse. The injury lawyers at Cory Watson have more than 30 years of experience helping victims nationwide, and aren’t afraid to take on the biggest players in the pharmaceutical industry.
If you or a loved one has been severely injured by a drug or medical device, it’s easy to get the help you need—just call (877) 562-0000 or complete our free initial consultation form. As a leading national injury law firm, we serve clients throughout the country as well as our home state of Alabama.
Don’t delay getting the help you need. It takes just minutes to get started, and the initial conversation is always free!