Is Big Pharma Making the Opioid Crisis Worse?

The advancement of prescription medication has been a double-edged sword for people across the country. Those who suffer from chronic pain have finally gained access to the help they need, but many have abused their medications and developed a culture of reliance. Worst of all? Many of those affected are now blaming the big pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the medicines in the first place.

A Culture of Reliance

Recent advancements in public opinion have shown a growing distrust of pharmaceuticals and the companies creating them. Despite the public’s concern, usage of these drugs is more significant than ever before. Manufacturers have shown surprisingly little interest for the massive level of pharmaceutical abuse sweeping across the nation — especially in America’s youth.

One significant problem is that pharmaceutical opioids were legalized with the intention of helping heroin addicts overcome their addictions. Unfortunately, prescription opioids come with the same risk of addiction that heroin poses in the first place. As a result, many users begin abusing their prescriptions and overdosing on OxyContin, Vicodin or other legal opioids. Because of their ignorant stance on this reality, “Big Pharma” is under fire for creating a culture in which people’s problems result in quick and unnecessary prescriptions. In every sense, the situation is a race to the bottom.

Legal Action Against Pharmaceutical Companies

Suing a company with immense resources is never an easy proposition, and that’s why it usually takes a city to do so. After Chicago filed suits against key pharmaceutical brands in 2014, New York City started off 2018 with a similar case. Officials of both cities believe that, in addition to deaths caused by overdose, the culture of prescription drugs has increased crime rates, caused a large number of unrelated fatalities and worsened the population’s reliance on illegal drugs like heroin.

With Chicago approaching the four-year anniversary of its case against Big Pharma, little has been accomplished since 2014. The city’s legal team has contended with millions of documents created to delay and obfuscate the case itself. At this point, there is little reason to expect New York’s fate will be any better.

Additionally, medical malpractice situations should also be considered important legal action. If a victim has experience medical negligence that has contributed to the opioid crisis, then it should be reasonable to taking legal action. According to Lane-Lane, holding the physician or other medical professionals accountable won’t just help an individual, it’ll help others in the future as well.

With addiction reaching epidemic levels across the country, community leaders are starting to look for answers, and if we’re serious about getting pharmaceutical companies in trouble we need to keep pressure. People are finally aware of the crisis, but many are too reliant on their prescriptions to consider alternate solutions — and, if the lawyers of Chicago and New York City are to be trusted, that’s precisely how pharmaceutical companies want to keep it.