By all accounts, the opioid epidemic in America continues to worsen. In March 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a 30 percent increase in opioid overdoses nationwide, for the time period from third quarter 2016 to third-quarter 2017.1
These overdoses include all opioids–heroin and painkillers. But one thing is clear: addiction and misuse of prescription, opioid-based pharmaceuticals are causing fatalities across the country. Not only do these deaths have tragic human consequences, but they also have financial and resource-related consequences for the counties in which they occur. At Whetstone Perkins & Fulda, our mass torts lawyers are proud to represent patients in claims against drug manufacturers. Do not hesitate to reach out to our Columbia opioid prescription painkiller lawyer for legal help.
Representing Families of Overdose Victims
Overdose deaths are tragedies that no family should have to endure. Unfortunately, these fatalities have been occurring at an alarming rate. In addition to the grief caused, these deaths often have an economic impact on the counties in which they occur. The lawyers of Whetstone Perkins & Fulda are representing families of deceased parties in opioid cases in many South Carolina counties.
In representing these entities, our attorneys hope to slow the flow of these dangerous prescription drugs into our communities. There is evidence that these drugs are being over-prescribed at rates that seem to ignore their highly addictive nature. Beginning in the 1990s, many drug companies began aggressively marketing opioids, in some cases improperly warning of their inherent dangers and the degree of their addictiveness. We will work to hold those companies accountable.
Another reason for representing these counties is to fight for full monetary compensation on their behalves. Fighting the opioid epidemic is an expensive undertaking for our state’s counties. Costs rack up on many levels:
- Emergency room services
- Adequately staffing police departments
- Providing adequate training for police officers responding to overdose calls
- Equipping police and first-responders with reversal drug kits and training
- Developing mental health response and outreach for survivors of overdose
- Criminal justice services when illegal drug activity is involved
- Providing coroner services when overdose results in death
The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that prescription drug misuse costs the United States about $79 billion per year. In South Carolina, our counties – and all of us as taxpayers – have felt the effects of opioid abuse and seek to hold the drug companies responsible.
A Rampant and Deadly Crisis
According to the CDC, prescription opioid overdoses are a driving factor in a 16-year rise in opioid overdose deaths. From 1999 to 2010, the amount of these opioid prescriptions sold to doctors, hospitals and pharmacies quadrupled.2 Deaths from overdoses of these drugs also quadrupled during that time. In fact, they more than quadrupled, says the CDC.
Opioid overdose kills about 115 people every day in America.3 Heroin is certainly a factor in these death rates, but so too are drugs like hydrocodone, oxycodone, fentanyl, codeine, and morphine. The risk of misuse of these drugs is high, because of the way they produce euphoria by stimulating the pleasure centers of the brain.
Drug manufacturers have a duty to properly warn doctors and consumers of the side effects, risks, and complications posed by their pharmaceuticals. The addictive nature of opioid prescriptions are now tragically clear.
Call a Columbia Opioid Prescription Painkiller Attorney to Learn More
To learn more about how our Columbia opioid prescription painkiller lawyers are fighting to hold drug-makers responsible for factors contributing to the opioid epidemic, please contact Whetstone Perkins & Fulda today. Our legal team offers free case reviews.