Are Opioid Manufacturers To Blame For Prescription Drug Abuse?

Purdue is an opioid-manufacturing behemoth–it’s one of the biggest producers of the prescription painkiller in the country, but that hasn’t stopped Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall from taking the company to court for potentially making the growing spate of prescription opioid drug deaths even worse. The rate of drug overdose in Alabama has gone up more than a whopping 82 percent since 2006. You’ve probably heard of one or two of their drugs before. They manufacture OxyContin, Butrans, MS Contin, and they promote more sales by chucking generic drugs to the hungry pain relief markets as well.

Okay, prescription opioids are basically heroin in a pill. They are dangerously addictive. We all know the stereotype of the aging housewife who can’t keep up with the teenage kids or the cheating husband, so of course she turns to the happy pills. Even if that stereotype were true, who is to blame for her addiction? Is it the doctor who prescribed the drug in the first place? Is it the dealer who helped her continue to get the drugs after she recovered from whatever made her need them in the first place? Or is the drug manufacturer somehow to blame?

Product liability is a tricky business, and it certainly doesn’t get any easier when you throw painkillers into the mix. Marshall believes that Purdue, the manufacturer, is partly to blame. That’s because of the advertising tactics Purdue uses to get patients to ask their doctors about the drugs. Purdue potentially also may have violated Alabama’s own Deceptive Trade Practices Act by doing so. It can be difficult to follow the rules to the T when you’re a national manufacturer and you have to deal with both federal regulations and individual state rules as well, but difficulty isn’t an excuse when people’s lives are on the line.

Marshall, on behalf of Alabama state, wants Purdue to pay damages. In addition, Marshall believes the suit will cross into Ohio because of how the states share litigation laws. A plan to combat the opioid epidemic was put into place late last year as part of the ongoing fight against prescription drug abuse in the state of Alabama. Marshall is just getting started, and the fight isn’t even close to being over.

You don’t need to wait for the Alabama AG to take on Purdue to take care of yourself, either. If you believe that your life has been threatened by prescription opioids, then speak to a lawyer to discuss options for a potential case.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.