The opioid epidemic has been likened to the black plague, with the U.S. reaching a peak of 33,000 deaths due to overdose in 2015. With an average death toll of 91 daily, it may shock the public to know that nearly two thirds of these deaths are attributable to prescription painkillers. But what if there are few, if any, affordable options for pain control?
Who or what is to blame for all of these deaths by overdose of prescription painkillers? The blame for the increasingly publicized, public health crisis, shifts. It’s the individuals who are addicted to prescription drugs, those who doctor shop to illegally obtain more opioid prescriptions. It’s the drug manufacturers (Big Pharma) whose marketing practices minimize addiction risk and overinflate health benefits.
In fact, at least three states (Ohio, Illinois, and Mississippi, and several individual counties and cities) have filed lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies who make, market, and distribute oxycodone, the most prescribed opioid on the market today. And, now prescribers, who are being pressured to take responsibility, and we agree that providers should prescribe opioids responsibility, but many don’t.
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