The misuse of and addiction to opioids is a serious national crisis that affects public health and has claimed the lives of many Americans each year and now municipal governments nationwide are suing the pharmaceutical industry for the destructive opioid crisis.
Oklahoma pursued the first case against a drug manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, for the detrimental opioid disaster. Johnson & Johnson advertised false, misleading, and dangerous marketing campaigns that caused aggressively increasing rates of addiction, overdose deaths and babies born exposed to opioids. This company has savagely created the opioid epidemic in Oklahoma. The daunting financial muscle that has driven the spread of prescription opioids comes from the distributors. Even though many settlements have followed, little has changed. The opioid crisis is finally being recognized and is a tremendously intricate public health issue and everyone should have deep sympathy for everyone affected.
Between 2015 and 2018, 18 million opioid prescriptions were written in Oklahoma, a state with a population of about 4 million. About 6,000 Oklahomans have died from opioid overdoses. The critical finding is that companies like Johnson and Johnson engage in false, deceptive, and misleading marketing.
These companies should be put to federal trial and hope to provide a benchmark for a national resolution for other communities to have the resourced to do what is necessary to abate the opioid crisis. This is a national crisis that demands a national solution.