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Can you sue a drug manufacturer for an overdose?

The opioid crisis in the United States has never been worse. Thousands of people suffer from opioid addiction and many have died. It's made a lot of people ask how prescription painkillers -- something that started out as a good thing -- became so casually available in the first place.

Some people feel that the drug manufacturers are actually the ones who deserve the most blame. More and more evidence seems to indicate that the drug manufacturers actually knew that their products were dangerous.

The drug companies knew they were far more addictive than most people -- including doctors -- realized, even when taken according to the prescription's rules. Yet, they aggressively marketed them to both medical professionals and individuals as something that is safe for virtually anyone to have as long as they were used as directed. They even called opioid addiction after responsible use a "myth" in their literature.

In addition, the drug companies did nothing in terms of regulating their own industry. They were happy to sell as many pills as possible -- even though some pharmacy orders for prescriptions vastly exceeded the actual number of people even living in their communities. That alone might have triggered internal audits and concerns in a company that had a sense of social responsibility.

Can they be held accountable? Increasingly, it seems likely that they will be.

A number of cities and states have already pressed lawsuits across the country against both the "pill mills" that distribute opioids in massive numbers and the manufactures that made doing so incredibly profitable. The states and communities are looking to recover the money already lost dealing with the opioid crisis in the terms of medical care for addicts and police services for control.

In theory, the drug companies may be held liable for their dangerous drugs and misleading advertising the same way that tobacco companies have been held liable in wrongful death claims for misleading consumers over the years.

Anyone who has lost a loved one to opioid addiction that started through prescription drugs should consider exploring their legal options. The more that drug companies are held financially liable for their actions, the faster they'll start to police themselves.

Source: Vox, "The growing number of lawsuits against opioid companies, explained," German Lopez, accessed June 08, 2018

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