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Opioid companies feel the heat as authorities tighten noose

Amid the growing concern over the opioid epidemic ravaging the United States, federal authorities are now pulling the trigger against erring opioid manufacturing companies. Authorities have sprung into action in the wake of President Donald Trump declaring the opioid epidemic a “national emergency” in August 2017. The authorities are of the view that these unscrupulous companies make huge profits by jeopardizing the lives of innocent people.

Of late, authorities have fired a series of volleys at opioid companies because of their role in fueling the opioid epidemic. Federal agencies from several U.S. states are now targeting opioid manufacturers and distributors who have dabbled in dubious tactics to push their prescription painkillers.

In one such assault, the city of Indianapolis announced on October 5 that it would file a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors. While announcing the decision, Mayor Joe Hogsett confirmed that the law firm of Cohen & Malad, LLP will take it forward against the companies for allegedly misleading patients into believing that pain medications are not addictive. This invariably pushed their sales to a great extent.

Hogsett said that pain medications often lead to addictions, just like heroin, which propelled the overdose deaths in the country. “They all sought relief from pain and were instead administered addiction,” he said, talking about the plight of the patients.

Marion County is still mourning the 350 deaths due to opioid addiction in 2016 and there are no signs of any improvement in the numbers. In 2017, it saw more than 1,600 cases of naloxone being administered to overdose patients, which is also a record.

In another case, New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino accused drug manufacturer Insys Therapeutics Inc. that makes powerful fentanyl painkiller spray, of coaxing doctors to prescribe their spray for any type of chronic pain. The fact is that the spray has been approved only for cancer patients who couldn’t benefit from other opioids. “We contend that the company used every trick in the book, including sham speaking and consulting fees and other illegal kickbacks, in a callous campaign to boost profits from the sale of its marquee drug Subsys,” said Porrino.

Insys Therapeutics Inc. was also involved in a similar row with the state of Massachusetts. In the latest development, Massachusetts has agreed for a settlement with Insys Therapeutics Inc., Attorney General Maura Healey said on Thursday. They too made similar allegations against the company for aggressively marketing opioids, targeting all pain patients, whereas the particular drug was intended for only cancer patients.

Insys Therapeutics has a history of facing litigations in several states. Earlier, Arizona too had sued Insys in August, and Illinois reached a $4.5 million settlement with the company.

The opioid epidemic has become a serious threat to the nation, and it is now a national emergency. Millions of people have died due to opioid overdose and the number is only growing. Things will not improve unless some drastic step is taken to combat the problem.

Dealing with addiction

Addiction is a scourge, which can be fatal when it becomes chronic. However, with timely intervention, one can gain sobriety and lead an addiction-free life. If you have a loved one struggling with an addiction, and is looking for a 24-hour drug helpline, call 24/7 Recovery Helpline at (855) 441-4405 or chat online for a prompt response. Our experts can be the best drug rehab help for people seeking treatment for addiction. One should not shy away from treatment or things can go out of hand.

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