Opioid Drugmakers Call for Specificity in Cases of Harm in Government Lawsuits Filed Against Them – Oct 19, 2018 By Alex Keown
As more and more lawsuits are filed by state and local governments over the opioid epidemic, drugmakers are fighting back in court by demanding the allegations include specifics on how the companies are to blame.
As the city of New Orleans and Missouri’s Franklin County become the latest local governments to file more than 1,500 lawsuits against opioid manufacturers, companies like Purdue Pharmaceuticals, the maker of OxyContin, are asking the plaintiffs for specifics in exactly how the companies are to blame for the overdose deaths, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
This is an interesting avenue of defense that could expose how few legitimate patients overdose. We may find out how few specifics we have about this “opioid crisis” and how few specifics we about all the drug deaths that have been counted as “opioid overdoses” to arrive at the huge numbers we’re seeing.PROP has been using a hugely inflated number of “opioid overdoses” for years and consistently implies that these are from prescribed opioids. PROP demonized doctors that were prescribing opioids as a patient’s last resort for pain relief and shamed their patients who needed them.
Most media uses PROP memebers as “experts on the opioid crisis” for quotes and fact checking, so those folks have a huge influence on what gets published. PROP pushes the fairytale about how all these innocent people are getting addicted by opioids and the media dutifully publish it, right from the horse’s mouth (or other end).
and skirt around the issue of barely mention all the misery in the streets where a growing percentage of overdoses were/are from illicit fentany. Instead they used the inflated numbers to scare the public away from prescription oppioids.
The challenge is the result of a lawsuit taking place in an Ohio courtroom that is being watched as a benchmark case. Earlier this week, the Journal reported, U.S. District Judge Dan Polster issued an order that four municipal governments that have filed lawsuits against opioid manufacturers, “must identif:
500 medically unnecessary prescriptions and
300 residents who became addicted or were harmed from opioid prescriptions.”
I have a feeling this is impossible.
I can’t imagine how they’ll find 300 specific local residents who became “addicted or were harmed from opioid prescriptions”. This is actually not a common happening, contrary to the “addiction story” being relentless promoted by PROP and much of the recovery industry.
Patients who take the medications as prescribed are NOT the ones overdosing. I believe this trial may finally expose our drummed-up “opioid crisis” as a deliberate deception, that overdoses are happening when people mix prescriptions (theirs or others’) with other drugs, including alcohol, or when the drugs they buy have added fentanyl.
I also doubt they can identify 500 “medically unnecessary prescriptions”. This is hard to prove even in the individual cases the DEA prosecutes, so finding 500 of them locally, along with 500 people who adhere to the PROP story of innocents getting addicted by opioids… the odds just don’t look good.
The Journal noted that Polster provided another option though, that the local governments do not have to produce those names if they elect to not single out specific prescriptions that could be blamed for the overdose deaths and other healthcare-related issues. Polster said the plaintiffs could rely on “broad arguments” that focus on the “entire scope of the opioid crisis in their region,” the Journal said.
The local governments have argued they do not have detailed prescription information surrounding the deaths or other opioid-related healthcare issues. They say their claims “do not turn on proof that a specific drug caused harm to a specific individual,” the Journal said.
That’s because they can’t find all the people who supposedly overdosed on their legitimate opioid prescriptons.
The anti-opioid zealots have been pushing an unverifiable story, one that I don’t believe is true, and I hope this case might be able to yank to covers off the lie about prescription opioids causing the overdoses.
The arguments cited in the lawsuits typically say that the companies, such as Purdue, engaged in deceptive marketing practices that contributed to high addiction rates. Also, the lawsuits argue that the companies downplayed concerns over abuse, as well as allegations of complicity in the large amounts of opioids delivered to small-town pharmacies.
Earlier this year the federal government petitioned the courts to participate in settlement discussions as a “friend of the court.” The friend of the court filing came about a month after the DOI formed a task force to target opioid manufacturers and distributors for the roles they have allegedly played in the increase of addiction across the country
As opioid-making companies such as Purdue prepare a defense against the allegations, they are arguing that the state and local governments filing lawsuits against them
“have failed to respond to questions about
- which opioid prescriptions they claim shouldn’t have been written,
- what caused them to be written and
- how they caused harm,”
the Journal said.
And these are 3 questions that cannot be answered because there are so very few cases in which this sceantio unfolded. Most overdoses ocur from illicit fentanyl and mixed drugs, not legitimate opioid prescriptions.