It is no secret the United States is in the middle of an opioid epidemic. From 1999 to 2017, we have lost more than 700,000 people to a drug overdose. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 68 percent of the 70,000 drug overdose deaths in 2017 alone were caused by an opioid, and 130 Americans die every single day from an opioid overdose.
This raises the question of how we got to this place. Unfortunately, many people still do not understand how dangerous these kinds of drugs can be. This is because opioids (think pain relievers like oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and codeine as well as heroin) are rampantly prescribed to patients. Western doctors fail to get to the bottom of what is really going on, opting to mask a patients’ symptoms with drugs provided by big pharmaceutical companies.
Understanding Big Pharma’s Role
There is absolutely no question that the work many drug companies have done to improve our ability to treat illness has been instrumental. However, in recent years pharmaceutical marking has started to impact both prescribers and their patients. No longer do many pharmaceutical companies have a patient’s best interests in mind, rather they are focused on ‘pushing’ a specific drug in order to make money.
Because of this, the pharmaceutical industry has become very corrupt and confusing. One of the biggest reasons why we find ourselves in this situation today is because of how the medical and marketing industries have come together. Marketing is about selling something to a specific group or audience, but when this involves drugs like opioids and others, the result can be deadly.
Who is to blame?
It is hard to pinpoint who is to blame, exactly. Is it the fault of the drug makers? Pharmaceutical marketers? Doctors and hospitals? Unfortunately, the answer may be all of them. Drug makers are not doing their due diligence in the research phase, often skipping pertinent steps to get a drug on the market sooner than later. Pharmaceutical marketers are focused on making sales and getting their product into the hands of prescribers and patients, whether the drugs are safe or not. And doctors are being incentivized by big pharma to push certain drugs over others.
All of these factors lead up to serious trouble for Americans, as we have seen through the opioid epidemic. If you have lost a loved one due to a drug overdose that started with a prescription from a doctor, we can help.
The attorneys at Wormington & Bollinger can help you determine if you have a medical malpractice lawsuit on your hands, should you have been given a drug that was only prescribed because of marketing influences. To learn more about your rights and the damages you may be able to recover, please contact us for a free consultation.