Cherry Hill, NJ - In a $50 billion California lawsuit, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) together with three other major pharmaceutical companies – AbbVie’s Allergan, Endo International PLC, and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd – are being accused of downplaying addictive risks of their opioid-based drugs and employing deceptive marketing tactics, Fidelma Fitzpatrick, the California plaintiffs’ lawyer, argued in court on April 19, 2021.
The plaintiffs, which include the city of Oakland, and Orange, Santa Clara, and Los Angeles counties, asked the court on April 19 to order the drugmakers to pay to assist in repairing the damage that the opioid crisis has caused the people of California – an amount of over $50 billion, plus penalties.
The $50 billion lawsuit is one of the over 3,300 pending lawsuits from across the country which seeks to hold drugmakers like J&J responsible for fueling the opioid crisis. Many more cases will go to trial in the coming months as delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic decrease.
Over 70 percent of the more than 71,000 drug overdose deaths in the US in 2019 were linked to opioid abuse, according to a CDC report. The CDC stated that as many as 500,000 people died from 1999 to 2019 as a result of the opioid crisis. According to their findings, the COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated the opioid overdose death rate, further escalating the opioid epidemic.
As J&J and other major pharmaceutical companies defend their actions in court, the opioid crisis remains a major concern for Americans. One potential solution on the horizon is an opioid vaccine that showed promising results in a study published in February 2021. The vaccine may, after further testing, be used by people who use fentanyl and carfentanil-laced opioids to prevent the fatal effects of overdose. While an opioid vaccine could be a powerful harm-reduction tool for preventing fatalities in people addicted to opioids, comprehensive behavioral health treatment is what will help people to actually overcome addiction and address the root causes of the problem.
Legacy Healing Center, a behavioral health treatment center in South Florida and New Jersey, has seen the hardships caused by the opioid epidemic first-hand. A spokesperson from Legacy Healing Center explained how the disease of addiction, on average, affects as many as eight other people in the life of an addicted person. The true scope of the opioid crisis, which has already caused millions of cases of opioid use disorder, is unimaginable when considering the ripple effect that stretches to the loved ones of those suffering from opioid addiction.
Lawsuits like the $50 billion California case may begin to repair the damage that the opioid epidemic has caused. Helping people suffering from opioid addiction is a top priority for states, organizations and individuals across the country. Legacy Healing Center continues to expand their treatment capabilities to help tackle the ongoing crisis - they recently opened a new accredited behavioral health center in Cherry Hill, NJ to help people in the northeast region of the US, an area that has seen some of the greatest impacts from opioid abuse.
Lawsuits that hold drugmakers accountable for their aggressive marketing and downplaying the risks involved with their opioid-based drugs started in early 2000 and have increased in frequency as the opioid epidemic has evolved. The $50 billion lawsuit against J&J and other big pharma companies will not be the end of the accountability that drugmakers must face but it may help to bring treatment to those that need it.
Anyone who is struggling with addiction or concerned about a loved one can contact Legacy Healing Center at (888) 534-2295. Treatment specialists are available 24/7 to answer questions and begin the process of healing from the devastating effects of addiction.
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]
Addiction Treatment Center in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Alcohol & drug rehab that is done with the whole person in mind. Call Legacy Healing Center.