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Drugmakers Sued Over Role in Increased Painkiller Abuse

A new lawsuit brought against five pharmaceutical companies alleges that deceptive marketing campaigns enacted by these drug companies are to blame for the current epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse, according to Businessweek.

Two counties in California are suing the drug companies for turning drugs that were once narrowly prescribed for short-term acute pain into commonplace remedies for conditions such as arthritis and back pain, downplaying the risk of addiction. The defendants include comapnies that have made billions selling widely used painkillers such as OxyContin, Percocet, and Actiq.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, deaths involving prescription painkillers have more than tripled in the first decade of the 21st century.

Attorneys for Orange County and Santa Clara County say the drugmakers violated state laws against both false advertising and unfair competition. The suit says that these companies co-opted doctors and patient advocacy groups to overstate the benefits of pain pills while soft-pedaling the risks of addiction.

The lawsuit is an aggressive strike at the drugmakers that is “reminiscent of the legal attack against the tobacco industry,” according to the Los Angeles Times. Read the full details here:

California Counties Sue Drugmakers Over Painkiller Abuse

The overuse and overprescription of painkillers is a significant problem in the U.S. While many blame those who seek the drugs and the physicians who overwrite prescriptions, a new focus is on the manufacturers of these drugs and their role as well.

If you or anyone in your family has suffered serious side effects or damages from a medication error you should seek legal investigation immediately. Crandall & Pera Law is available to help answer your questions and guide you in determining your next steps.

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