Drugs have already killed countless people and have affected families and relationships in the most depressing way. What is worse is, this situation seems to go on even today. In fact, many people get addicted to drugs and many of them do not get to receive the help they need. While others just do not want to be helped at all.
At present, drug manufacturers and distributors in the US are now under the gun. According to them, it has been two decades into the opioid addiction epidemic that has killed more than 200,000 people, the industry is now confronting a cluster of lawsuits and enforcement actions seeking to hold them accountable for a health crisis that adds up to an economic burden of $78.5bn annually.
Purdue Pharma, which sparked the boom in opioid prescriptions with high-profile marketing of OxyContin, and generic drugmaker Teva have recently settled with the state of Oklahoma for $270m and $85m respectively. On Monday, a judge there heard closing arguments in the state’s efforts to extract much more from Johnson & Johnson.
Oklahoma contends that the company created a public nuisance by flooding the state with painkillers and misleading marketing, and providing crucial ingredients for other opioid makers. J&J counters that its medications account for less than 1 per cent of the US market and that its actions were “appropriate and responsible”.