Big Pharma is always ready to capitalize on tragedy. According to a new report, a pharmaceutical company in Virginia hiked the prices of their overdose medication that can save the life of someone overdosing on opiates by 600% as the death rate from opioid overdoses began to climb. These drug companies need to be held accountable for their price gouging, as Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins explains. No industry in this country should EVER capitalize off of a public health crisis.


The opioid crisis continues to claim more than 110 American lives every single day, and in the midst of this crisis, as they often do, pharmaceutical companies saw a new avenue for increased profits. See, here’s the thing, there’s actually several drugs on the market that can stop or reverse an overdose on opiates if given enough time after an overdose occurs. One of those is a medication called naloxone. There’s also suboxone. They can reverse the effects of an overdose and effectively save a person’s life, and since this opioid crisis began several years ago, cities and states, Medicaid and Medicare programs have been spending an exorbitant amount of money to buy these anti overdose medications, and because they saw that the demand was suddenly skyrocketing, pharmaceutical companies did exactly what you would expect them to do and they jacked up the price of some of these drugs by as much as 600 percent. The company that makes naloxone jumped the price up by 600 percent in 2016.

The price of a unit of a Naloxone was $575 per unit. Then they jumped the price up to $3,750 per unit, and then again up to $4100 per unit. This is according to an investigation by Republican Senator Rob Portman, and the permanent subcommittee on investigations. They found this out. So now we have pharmaceutical companies that not only are profiting off of the massive death and destruction that is happening as a result of their opioid pills, but now they’re trying to bring in billions upon billions of dollars from the cure for it. This is exactly what big Pharma does. They have done it plenty of times in the past and they’re going to keep doing it in the future because nobody’s ever going to really be held accountable for any of this. The best we can hope for is that the law suits being launched by cities and states and even private individuals against these companies.

Maybe it’s gonna, make them have to pay out enough money to think twice before they do it again, but lacking any action from Congress, from the house, from the Senate, from whoever they’re going to keep. Continue doing this. It’s what they do. It’s part of their nature. They don’t care about curing people or fixing problems. They care about creating problems and then profiting even more off of the cure for it. That is exactly what is happening right now with the opioid crisis. They created the problem. They created the cure and they’re making billions upon billions of dollars every single year off of both of those.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced