September 17, 2019: The Opioid Epidemic and Corporate Responsibility
- 400,000+ people have lost their lives to opioid overdose in the past twenty years, and the financial cost according to the CDC has been estimated at $78.5 billion per year.
- Opioid manufacturers paid physicians; the more opioid scripts written, the higher the kickback.
- Johnson & Johnson was found to have contributed to the opioid crisis in Oklahoma.
- Purdue Pharma and lawyers representing local governments are interested in continued negotiations related to opioid epidemic lawsuits.
- Some are seeking lawsuits against individual members of the family who owns Purdue Pharma.
- The American Pain society pushed pain as the fifth vital sign, but there is no device which can objectively measure pain; it is the first and only vital sign which is entirely subjective.
- Fewer than 20% of opioid addicts are receiving what could be life-saving treatment.
- Is pain truly a “fifth vital sign,” as the American Pain Society lobbied for it to be?
- Is pain management an issue of patients’ rights? Is patient satisfaction related to quality of care?
- How culpable are physicians and hospital administrations for the over-prescription of opioids?
- Can the family who owns Purdue Pharma be held responsible for the opioid crisis?
- Do situations like this mandate future regulation of marketing campaigns for drugs? If so, all drugs, or just opioids?
- How do we define when enough has been paid/done?
- Associated Press (2019) Purdue Pharma says settlement talks in opioid cases not over. CNBC: Biotech and Pharma.
- Driscoll (2019) Stanford Legal Experts on the Oklahoma Opioids Verdict and Ongoing Litigation. Stanford Law School Blogs.
- Editorial Board (2019) Big Pharma is Starting to Pay for the Opioid Crisis. make Those Payments Count. The New York Times.
- Esposito (2018) Opioid Epidemic: What Brought Us Here? US News.
- Food and Drug Administration (2018) Timeline of Selected FDA Activities and Significant Events Addressing Opioid Misuse and Abuse.
- Haffajee & Mello (2017) Drug Companies’ Liability for the Opioid Epidemic. The New England Journal of Medicine, 377, 2301-2305.
- Helmore (2019) US opioid crisis: experts say payouts from drug makers “highly questionable.” The Guardian.
- Hirsch (2017) The Opioid Epidemic: It’s Time to Place Blame Where It Belongs. Missouri Medicine 114(12), 82-83, 90.
- Hoffman (2019) Johnson & Johnson Ordered to Pay $572 Million in Landmark Opioid Trial. The New York Times.
- Jones, et al. (2018) A Brief History of the Opioid Epidemic and Strategies for Pain Medicine. Pain and Therapy, 7(1), 13-21.
- Kessler, Cohen, and Grise (2018) The more opioids doctors prescribe, the more money they make. CNN health.
- Mann (2019) Politicians, Government Agencies Feud Over Payouts Tied to Opioid Epidemic. NPR.