Big Pharma is pushing deadly drugs and addicting my home state of California. Allegedly. Painkillers like OxyContin are involved in more than 16,000 deaths every year. Traffic accidents are now taking a back seat to meds when it comes to causes of deaths. Per an article in the Los Angeles Times, two counties are now suing drugmakers for violating California laws against false advertising, unfair business practices and creating a public nuisance.
Big Pharma encourages patients, including veterans and the elderly, to request painkillers when they have everyday headaches, arthritis and back pain. Allegedly. The reason the headline includes the phrase "population of addicts" is that heroin use has also increased as a result of all the prescriptions, because it not only creates a similar high, but it's also cheaper, per the lawsuit.
The drug manufacturers say the narcotics they push are safer than they are.
Two California counties sued five of the world's largest narcotics manufacturers on Wednesday, accusing the companies of causing the nation's prescription drug epidemic by waging a "campaign of deception" aimed at boosting sales of potent painkillers such as OxyContin. [...] The companies employed tactics similar to those used by the tobacco industry to "conceal their deceptive marketing and conspiratorial behavior," the suit states.
One such tactic involved the use of leading physicians — known within the companies as "key opinion leaders" — to spread the message to their peers, it says. The drug makers allegedly recruited and paid those physicians to give speeches and write policy papers.
Another marketing ploy was to create and co-opt patient advocacy organizations and medical specialty societies, the suit says. The companies used these front groups to promote narcotic painkillers and to write treatment guidelines that expanded the market, it says.
It was the drug makers' "marketing — and not any medical breakthrough — that rationalized prescribing opioids for chronic pain and opened the floodgates of opioid use and abuse," the suit says.