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Opioid Epidemic Spawns Investor Lawsuits

Santa Cruz, CA: In the wake of the growing national opioid crisis, investors that hold shares in pharmaceutical companies, such as Purdue Pharma and Abbott Laboratories, are filing lawsuits alleging the drug makers misled them about the safety and efficacy of opioids.

Big pharmaceutical companies are being sued for allegations of deceptive marketing of opioid painkillers including Oxycontin and Percocet, which, lawyers charge, played a role in the prescription opioid and heroin addiction epidemic sweeping across the US. Plaintiffs lawyers are also teaming up with state and local governments to bring cases against big pharma.

One such suit, recently filed by the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers Health and Welfare Fund, alleges the pharmaceutical companies violated the state’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law and the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

Specifically, the allegations center on the efficacy of opioid medications, that it is overstated while the risks, including addiction to and death from opioid medications, are downplayed. This is done, investors allege, to increase the sales of opioids. However, the investors claim that they have lost money as a result of paying for Purdue’s opioids, or reimbursing its members who had bought the drugs, even though there were more efficient and less dangerous medications on the market.

“Each of the participants in this conspiracy were fully aware of the deceptive and misleading nature of the statements, research and other materials that they utilized in promoting Purdue opioids,” the Philadelphia Federation Teachers Health and Welfare Fund states in their complaint. “Nonetheless, defendants and the front groups agreed to mislead and deceive plaintiff and the class regarding the risks, benefits, and alleged superiority of chronic opioid therapy and the Purdue opioids, in exchange for increased pharmaceutical sales, financial contributions, reputational enhancements, and other pecuniary and professional benefits.”

Six medications, namely OxyContin, MS Contin, Dilaudid, Dilaudid-HP, Butrans and Hysingla ER, are cited in the Teachers’ complaint.

“Defendants’ focus on its market share and profitability callously ignores the truth borne out in the grim statistics of the current ‘opioid crisis’ that is sweeping the country, generally, and Pennsylvania specifically,” the complaint states. “This reality is at least partially a result of defendants’ marketing activities.”

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Published on Oct-30-17

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the drug is not the problem. its the people who get a prescription snd drll them to bay rent or buy street drugs. I know 3 people just on ,y block. Let the doc cut them from those snd there is no epidemic.

Posted by Melissia Bonds on

I was in a vehicle accident in 2007, at that time I was prescribed oxycontin 80 mg. At the time the pills did take the pain away but when I wanted to stop taking them I couldn't, my body had become so reliant on the pills to feel "normal" that I couldn't even get outta bed without them. When I would try to quit taking the pills I would have hot and cold sweats , vomiting, diarhea, i had a family , i didnt want them to see me like that. My girlfriend eventually packed up my kids and left me , over time my house ended up going into foreclosure, when our dr.s stopped giving us our prescriptions for them, saying we were no longer in pain, left so many of us with an addiction they gave us with the prescription they wrote supposedly for our own well being.honest hard working citizens couldn't handle the withdraw and turned to the streets just to "get well"????

Posted by Travis enwiller on


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