Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that approximately two million people in the United States were dependent on or abused prescription painkillers in 2014. An estimated 15,000 Americans died because of drug overdoses that year alone, and an additional 350,000 people received emergency medical treatment for the misuse of and overdoses of these drugs. Other studies show that these numbers are likely only increasing every year.
The opioid epidemic is one of the largest health crises affecting Americans today, and it’s showing no signs of getting better any time soon. At Schlesinger Law Offices, P.A., we are committed to bringing those responsible to justice! Our opiate addiction attorneys in Fort Lauderdale are currently investigating the role that Big Pharma played in the creation and continuation of this epidemic.
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How Dangerous Are Prescription Opioids?
Ever since prescription painkillers were first introduced to Americans in the mid-1990s, these products have irrevocably changed the lives of millions of people across the United States. While illicit opioids like fentanyl and heroin tend to grab more headlines, the impact of these drugs is overshadowed by legal prescription painkillers like Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet, etc.
In 2014, nearly twice as many people were killed from prescription opioid overdoses compared to heroin overdoses, according to nationwide studies, and reports indicate that this statistic is unlikely to change in the near future. Other studies have shown that the number of opiate-related deaths has more than quadrupled since 1999. Medical professionals believe that the aggressive marketing strategies employed by pharmaceutical companies, a significant increase in the number of opiates doctors prescribed their patients, and a general acceptance towards using prescription painkillers as a regular form of treatment for an increasingly wide range of ailments were key factors that contributed to this epidemic.
In Addition to the Risk of an Accidental Overdose, Addiction to Opioids Can Result in Potentially Life-Threatening Health Implications, Including:
- Serious respiratory depression
- A weakened immune system
- Medical issues caused by intravenously administering the drug, including infection, localized abscesses, embolic events, and the transmission of blood-borne illnesses,
- Gastrointestinal issues including intestinal ileus, bowel perforation, and constipation
What Legal Responsibility Does Big Pharma Have?
Every company that manufactures a consumer product, whether it's a household appliance, drug, or medical device, is responsible for ensuring the product is safe for public use and providing adequate warning to the potential dangers of using the product.
Many states are currently investigating the role of pharmaceutical companies in the creation of the opioid epidemic for their failure to properly warn doctors and patients of the risks of using these prescription painkillers, causing hundreds (if not thousands) of people to become addicted to opiates. In fact, in 2007, the manufacturer of Oxycontin, Purdue Pharma, settled a lawsuit for $600 million that alleged the drug company falsely advertised Oxycontin as less addictive than other opioid painkillers.
Hire Representation You Can Count On
Facing down a pharmaceutical company is a considerable task, and you need an attorney who isn’t afraid to stand up to their massive legal teams and billions of dollars. At Schlesinger Law Offices, P.A., we have made a name for ourselves fighting for what’s right, no matter how oppressive the opposition may seem With more than 60 years of combined experience, you can trust that your case is in good hands when you work with our opiate lawyers.
I can't thank the team of lawyers from Schlesinger Law Firm for their high quality of professionalism and persistence in pursuing my lawsuit. They always made me feel part of their family.