Via America’s Lawyer: Mike Papantonio discusses the factors that led to the current opioid crisis in the U.S. and speaks with attorney Jeff Gaddy about a lawsuit being brought by the Cherokee Nation against several pharmaceutical companies. Mike then talks to Natasha Alexenko, Founder of Natasha's Justice Project, about the 400,000 untested rape kits across the country. Mike is then joined by Mollye Barrows, Legal Journalist for the Trial Lawyer Magazine, to discuss the legal ramification of the Trump Administration's decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord. America's Lawyer wraps up the show by highlighting a Supreme Court victory for a Pennsylvania grandmother who had her house and vehicle seized by police.
To learn more about these topics, visit http://www.levinlaw.com/america-lawyer
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For the last 18 months, the issue of healthcare and the behavior of the entire healthcare industry has been making headlines, whether it's Republicans trying to dismantle the few improvements that have been made to the healthcare insurance system or greedy pharma executives, price gouging, consumers. Americans are being fed a steady stream of news regarding the healthcare industry, and that's exactly what big pharma wants.
The news might not always be flattering, but as long as the public is only focused on price gouging, then they aren't talking about the opioid crisis that pharma created, a crisis that's claiming the lives of tens of thousands of American citizens every single year. In 2015, there were more than 52,000 deaths in the United States attributed to drug overdose. About two thirds of those deaths came from the opioids, like OxyContin or Percocet or heroin and Fentanyl, but that's more people than died from auto accidents or firearms in the United States.
Big pharma's argument is that they can't control whether or not a person overdoses on medication, but when you start to dig into the issue a little deeper, it becomes clear that the drug company executives knew this was going to happen, but they did nothing, because they knew they'd get rich off of overdoses.
According to 2015, the study published in the Annual Review of Public Health, there's a direct correlation between the increases in opioid prescriptions and the increase in overdose deaths in the United States, and that's a correlation that drug company executives have known about for a very long time. To understand big pharma's role in this crisis, you have to go back to 1990's, when these opioid based painkillers were released. At the time the FDA, doctors groups, and even drug company sales reps were concerned about the addictive quality of opioid painkillers.
They understood that patients could easily become addicted to painkillers and that these pills were very easy for patients to overdose on, but rather than demand that drug companies carry out extensive testing, these groups were more than happy to accept the drug companies ridiculous lies and their reassurances that their painkillers were less addictive than other opioids.
That's all it took for doctors. Doctors clearly knew better, though, that one lie from drug companies, a lie that continued for more than a decade is what led hundreds of thousands of Americans to become addicted to opioid painkillers. Their doctors told them that these pills weren't addictive, because the drug companies swore to them, to the doctors, that they weren't addictive. They made it sound like there was something magic about the opioids.
The drug company Purdue, who makes OxyContin had to pay out more than 600 million dollars in 2007, after a lawsuit proved that executives, lawyers, and medical officers for the company were lying, pure-out lying when they told doctors and they told the public that their pills were less addictive and more effective than other painkillers on the market.