10 counties and cities in Alabama and Ohio have announced that they will be filing lawsuits against the distributors of highly addictive opioid painkillers. These areas are joining the growing number of counties, cities, and states that are taking on Big Pharma and the distributors for covering up the dangers of opioid medication addiction, as well as failing to curtail the problem by limiting the supply. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this.
Transcript of the above video:
The lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and opioid distributors are starting to heat up across this country. Recently a report came out showing that 10 counties and cities in the states of both Alabama and Ohio, have now also filed lawsuits against opioid distributors for the role that they played in getting millions of Americans hooked on these very deadly pills.
Furthermore, just a few days ago, South Carolina, the State of South Carolina, announced that they were suing opioid manufacturers and distributors. We’ve seen similar things, West Virginia, Kentucky, again, Ohio, now Alabama, various Native American tribes around the country are joining in, because those pills were dumped on those populations in record numbers. Here’s the interesting thing, this is why it’s not just the manufacturers of opioids, yes we do know that they lied to doctors, according to documents, about the addictive qualities of opioid medications, but it’s the distributors who played an equally disgusting role in this entire thing.
Those distributors, the people who actually bring the pills, negotiate with the drug company and local pharmacies and get those pills where they need to go, they’re the ones who saw no problem in sending a couple of million pills each month, to cities and counties that had populations of only a couple of hundred thousand. There are instances, I believe West Virginia specifically, where you had counties where the amount of opioid pills delivered to that county every month, were about three or four pills per capita. Obviously not everybody in the town had a prescription for it, not everybody in town was taking them, but these distributors saw these astronomical numbers, did nothing about it, because it meant big money for them. They did nothing about the fact that people would line up outside of their pharmacies in the mornings, waiting to get those opioid pills.
I have a little bit of anecdotal evidence here, just to show the addictive quality of this. I was in the pharmacy about six months ago, and there was a man there. He was shaking, he had a note that he had written himself, it was not from a doctor, but what he was trying to do, was refill a prescription for his opioid painkillers, and the pharmacist had to come up and say, “Look, your prescription is not due to refill for another seven days.” And the man was sitting there begging saying, “I have this note, I have this note.” And the pharmacist kept saying, “This note is not from a doctor. I don’t know who it’s from, but it’s not from a doctor, we can’t do this.”
That was one of the most gut-wrenching things I think I’ve seen in a long time. This man was addicted, he wanted those pills, he had obviously blown through the amount that he was supposed to have, that was supposed to last him however long his prescription was for, and he needed more. Not because he was in pain, he didn’t say he was in pain, he just said he wanted the pills, and that’s the problem with opioids. Some people are more prone to addiction, and when doctors, hospitals don’t get full knowledge from these drug manufacturers and distributors about how addictive these pills are, they can’t make informed decisions about what to prescribe to their patients. Patients can’t make informed decisions if their doctors don’t know all the risks and can’t convey those risks, and that’s what we’re seeing right now in this opioid epidemic.
There are a lot of guilty parties in this scenario and these mounting lawsuits, these cities and states that are joining in, to finally bring some accountability to this, is one of the most positive stories that we have seen out of this country in the last 12 months.