The responsible party for the opioid overdose crises, Purdue Pharma reportedly claimed that it was unaware of the misuse of its game changer product, OxyContin. This claim turned out to be a false one as according to a classified Justice Department report, the company knew of the drug abuse being unaware of the fact that by crushing the pills and then inhaling it, it seemed more like an addicting sedative. Despite knowing this, the company continued promoting the product as a less addictive drug to be used as a painkiller.
According to the detailed report, the company was aware of the opioid abuse since its introduction to the market in 1996. The report indicated that the prosecutors involved in the investigation discovered some interesting facts regarding the company’s activities leading up to an opioid epidemic.
According to the lawyers, their requests for the implication of the criminal offense and conspiracy charges against the top three executives of the pharma company were not taken into consideration at the time. They claimed that according to their investigations, the company was also guilty of conducting fraudulent activities and such charges justified a confirmed prison-time for them.
The report suggests that the Purdue Pharma’s general counsel, Howard R. Udell and other company managers confessed that they did not learn about the opioid abuse until the early stages of 2000. The company still maintains the same position on the issue despite a regular chain of lawsuits against them.
An example of such proceedings is the action taken by the state of Massachusetts, in which the attorney general, Maura Hailey claimed that Purdue Pharma lied about the nature of the OxyContin which as now contributed to the opioid epidemic to a larger extent. Healey further said that the patients were told to take large dosages which encouraged more use of the pills resulting in a significant consumption.
The case is being supported by the Gov. Charlie Baker who stated that he hopes the lawsuit will ensure suitable punishments for the criminal actions taken by the pharma company.
There has been an increased number of deaths due to large opioid consumption. The graph below indicates the sharp rise from 2000 to 2016.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, there have been over 20,000 deaths alone by the use of such pills in the 16-year window. The statistical analysis of CDC suggests that there have been around 200, 0000 deaths in between 1999 and 2016 in total due to drug overdosage which also involves opioid prescriptions. Such activities have gained the attention of many law-making agencies which in turn has resulted in different cases being filed against the top opioid producers such as Purdue Pharma.
With the authorities in the Cherokee sovereign nations, New York, and Muskogee (Creek) and other seven states taking action against the misleading campaigns set up by such companies will make it even more difficult for them to defend themselves. A class action lawsuit can land Purdue Pharma in trouble with more states joining in the court.
A spokesperson from the company, Robert Josephson defended the company’s motives and said that it is highly unlikely that the current opioid epidemic is due to the events which occurred more than 16 years ago. He further said that the company was aiming to be more involved in addressing the opioid crisis situation.
The renowned Pharma Company has already been charged for a misleading marketing campaign for OxyContin back in 2007 where the company pleaded guilty over the charges. The pharma company was ordered to pay a hefty fine of $643.5 million which is a record for a drug company.
The punished officials were instructed to partake in community service as we. The Justice system was satisfied with the punishment. However, there were some significant points raised on the nature of the decision which encouraged more opioid abuse. According to a former Drug Enforcement Administration official, Terrance Woodworth, the system could have done more to teach the entire drug industry a lesson.
The Sackler family members escaped blame for any misconduct by the prosecutors, but they were aware of such ongoing activities under their management. However, the official representatives of the family have declined to comment on the issue.
The F.D.A allowed the introduction of OxyContin as a pain relief product. The agency was aware of the presence of narcotic substances involved in the product, but they believed that it was more like a quick acting agent in the pill. The prosecutors gathered substantial evidence against the pharma company which was also accused of training sales reps to portray the drug as less addicting to which they admitted in 2007.
OxyContin Lawsuit Attorneys
Do you or someone you know suffer from the effects of opioid abuse? Numerous patients are fighting back such drug manufacturers by filing lawsuits. Contact our lawyers at the Eichholz Law Firm for a free consultation.