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Friday, May 23, 2014

California Counties Take On Big Pharma

The time has come for prescription drug companies to account for their actions, at least that is how two California counties look at it after filing suit against five narcotic drug manufacturers, holding them responsible for the prescription drug epidemic plaguing America. Both Orange and Santa Clara counties filed the suit Wednesday alleging that the companies ran a “campaign of deception” with the sole purpose of increasing prescription narcotic sales, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Officials in both counties claim that the companies involved violated California laws against false advertising, unfair business practices and creating a public nuisance. After years of increasing overdose deaths, emergency room visits and the ever growing medical costs associated with prescription drug abuse, the big drug companies are being taken to task.

While Orange and Santa Clara counties are not the only counties to see, first hand, the effects of prescription drug abuse, they are the first to step up saying no more. There is hardly anywhere in America who has not been touched by the prescription drug epidemic, and while profits soar for certain companies the death toll continues to rise.

Disregarding “a wealth of scientific evidence to the contrary,” pharmaceutical companies led doctors to believe the benefits of prescription narcotics were greater than the costs. The suit alleges that the companies in question ran a marketing campaign to encourage patients to ask their doctors for painkillers for even moderate pain concerns, which has led to an addiction crisis throughout the two counties which has caused many patients to turn to heroin.

The goal of the suit is “to stop the lies about what these drugs do,” said Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.

The companies named in the suit are:
  • Actavis
  • Endo Health Solutions Inc.
  • Janssen Pharmaceuticals
  • Purdue Pharma
  • Cephalon Inc.
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