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.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.