It involves a town north of Seattle that has suffered a serious epidemic of heroin and opioid addiction. The opioids are mostly prescription drugs that have made their way into the black market. OxyContin, specifically, has been a problem.
The town of Everett has spent millions combatting the abuse of these drugs… and the side effects of abuse. Homelessness. Disease. Unemployment.
Unsure of how to continue funding the fight against drug abuse in their community, the mayor has turned to the courts. He’s suing Purdue Pharma, a drug company based in Connecticut. This company produces just 2% of all opioids prescribed in the United States, but it’s run afoul of the law before.
A few years ago, Purdue Pharma paid more than $600 million in penalties for deliberately misrepresenting the addictiveness of their products.
Since that time, Purdue says it’s been traveling the straight and narrow, that it leads the nation in innovations meant to combat drug addiction.
But is that really true? Reports suggest that Purdue has known that some of the doctors and pharmacies it sells to reroute drugs into the black market, but did nothing to prevent the illegal activity. If that’s true, then Everett’s mayor may have a case.
Whether he has a case or not, I have to say what a mess! No matter what happens here, average people like you and I lose. Either we suffer through the effects of drug addiction on our communities… or we live with higher drug costs and less innovation because drug companies are gun shy about lawsuits.
If you rely on prescription painkillers, this is one more good reason to seek out and test alternatives. If you can find a non-prescription method of controlling your pain, it will make you more self-reliant.