Pharmaceutical companies may act as if they are on the side of the consumers, doing their best to provide the safest medications to help them live the healthiest lives possible. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. Purdue Pharma may have to pay $13 billion in fines after investigators discovered the company most likely played an active role in creating and fueling America’s opioid crisis. Ohio victims of the opioid crisis may be eager to see how this pharmaceutical litigation unfolds.
Prosecutors are still collecting evidence of both civil and criminal misconduct at Purdue Pharma. There are currently multiple investigations focusing on different allegations, including one investigation looking at conspiracy charges as well as violations of drug safety and anti-kickback laws. Another investigation is looking into allegations that the company defrauded government health care programs like Medicare. This is not the first time that Purdue has been at the center of the investigation, either. In 2007, the company paid around $600 million in penalties, and three of its executives pleaded guilty to misbranding the drug OxyContin.
Purdue Pharma is controlled by a single wealthy family — the Sacklers. The Sackler family is accused of aggressively marketing prescription painkillers and then misleading doctors and their patients about the associated risks for addiction and overdose. The Sacklers have denied these and other allegations, including that they had any involvement in the opioid crisis. Instead, they blamed heroin as a bigger problem. Many health experts are quick to point out that people often turned to heroin only after they had become addicted to prescription drugs but could no longer access them.
Ohio patients should be able to seek help from their doctors without being exposed to dangerous drugs to which they are likely to become addicted. This is impossible when pharmaceutical companies like Purdue Pharma prioritize profits over people’s lives. Pharmaceutical litigation could be a viable option for victims who were wrongfully hooked on opioids to seek compensation for their damages. This may be very important for victims who lost jobs or faced other substantial financial, emotional or physical losses because of opioids.