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David Mittleman
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Opioids Fraud and the FDA; Drug Makers and Distributors

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Opioid Fraud and Abuse Unit Created

Citizens’ petition calls on FDA to pull powerful opioids from the market.  The petition pointed to Oxycontin 80 mg and IR oxycodone 30 mg as examples of ultra-high dose opioids that aren’t worth modest benefits.  Dozens of communities are banding together to file lawsuits against some of America’s largest drug manufacturers and distributors for their roles in spreading opioid addiction as a result of fraudulent marketing practices.  In the crosshairs are Purdue Pharma, Teva, Johnson and Johnson, Endo, Janssen, McKesson, Cardinal Health, CVS, Walgreens, Boots, and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., just to name some of the defendants.  The Department of Justice announced the formation of the Opioid Fraud and Abuse Unit last month.

States, Counties, and Cities All File Lawsuits

The Ohio Attorney General was the 1st to file against the pharmaceutical companies, alleging they knowingly understated the addiction risks of prescription opioid drugs.  The complaints state the companies fraudulently marketed addictive painkillers and seek hundreds of millions of dollars to address the opioid epidemic.  New York courts have seen a wave of lawsuits against opioid makers by county governments, alleging the companies made hefty profits by using deceptive marketing techniques to increase the sales of the medications to treat arthritis, low back pain, and headaches.  At least nine New York counties have individually filed lawsuits and more are contemplating retaining private law firms that specialize in tort litigation.  Our law firm is in talks with several cities, government entities, hospitals, and insurers.  We are willing at no cost to these organizations to handle the lawsuits on a contingency basis.

Like Tobacco Litigation

We will try to keep these cases as individual cases (in state courts) in the venues where the people are affected.  A 2016 report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pegged the economic cost for prescription opioid and heroin abuse nationally at $78.5 billion annually, with taxpayers paying for nearly a quarter of that amount.  Almost half of the working-age American men who are out of the labor force are using painkillers daily.  This estimate can explain why 20% of men are out of work.  I will be attending a national seminar in Washington D.C. this week on opioid litigation and will report more as I gather more information.

5 Comments

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  1. Jeff Wagner says:
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    You should also sue these agencies on behalf of Drs. who prescribe for legitimate patients in need..the drug companies push these drugs to Drs. and then the FBI decides to punish Drs. who take pain patients.

  2. Becky Turner says:
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    There is still a large faction of people who live in constant pain and use these drugs responsibly. Until there is a better answer it’s our only choice. Why should we be penalized because others make bad choices? Stop trying to fit everyone in one box!

  3. Joe Bridge says:
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    I’ve been on pain meds since 1994 n I did abuse them but the VA helped me n now I take them responsibly I have nerve damage in right leg and ankle that can’t be fix

  4. Joe Bridge says:
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    I’ve been taking meds since 1994 n yes I took them wrong but the VA helped me so much n now I take them responsibly and as needed in the past I would RUN out, I had to leave the VA because they cut my meds so low I couldn’t take care of my daily routine,if you could help me and other veterans I would be truly grateful

  5. Ron Smith says:
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    Why are you sending troops to Afghanistan to protect the poppy fields? You could stop it at the source but too many people are making money
    Like the lawyers who are filing these lawsuits.
    Get real your war on drugs, or your ears on anything are a failure.

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