Opioid Pharmaceutical Company Facing Bankruptcy

Opioid Pharmaceutical Company Facing Bankruptcy

One of the largest pharmaceutical firms and producer of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma, has stated that they are considering bankruptcy.

The Chief Executive Officer, Craig Landau, stated March 13thon the topic, “We are considering it, but we’ve really made no decisions on what course of actions to pursue. A lot depends on what unfolds in the weeks and months ahead.”

After many lawsuits and allegations of deceptive marketing practices to promote the highly addictive substance, to which Purdue has denied, one of their divisive strategies is to declare bankruptcy to stop all litigation.

The people affected by Purdue’s actions in the state of Oklahoma could be seeking more than $1 billion from defendants, according to The Washington Post.

Over 45,000 Americans died from opioid-related overdoses in 2017. While 17,029 have died from Prescription Opioids in 2017. The statistics of 2018 have yet to be published but based on the trends, it seems like it could go either way.
We are now seeing trends of an opioid, Fentanyl, growing in use as a continuation of the opioid epidemic that has been a severe issue for over a decade now.

Purdue, essentially, marketed the drugs to people for use and after a large portion of the American population became addicted, they began creating marketing campaigns to get them off of the opioids that they originally made. Purdue is facing billions of dollars in fines.

If you know of someone, or are someone, who has been affected by the opioid crisis, we are here to help you get the justice that you deserve. Call Martin Walker Law today.


Opioid Drug Maker Purdue Pharma Had Some Ethics Problems

Opioid Drug Maker Purdue Pharma Had Some Ethics Problems

Recently released documents from the ongoing lawsuit against OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma show a worrying lack of ethics in regards to the way the company and its controlling family marketed the addictive painkiller and hid those addictions from doctors and insurance companies.
A new report by Ars Technica paints a picture of the Sackler family, who is one of Purdue Pharma's largest shareholders and who sits on the company's board of directors, taking drastic action to keep their profits flowing at the expense of the patients being harmed by OxyContin's addictive properties. According to the released documents, Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers:

  • Pushed for the marketing of larger, and thus more addictive, doses of OxyContin.
  • Increased the sales force marketing the drug to doctors on several occasions.
  • Expanded discounts on OxyContin because data showed making the drug cheaper often led to patients staying on the drug far longer.
  • Worked on secretive plans to begin moving into opioid addiction treatment when they knew the opioid drugs they were marketing were addictive. (The company had long denied its drugs were addictive!)
  • Considered dropping health insurance company Cigna as the provider of Purdue Pharma's company health plan after Cigna cut OxyContin in favor of a rival drug from another health company.

The article detailing these new details had one final kicker: In 2012, at least one employee of Purdue Pharma raised alarms about doctors overprescribing OxyContin:

"...it seems to make sense for a number of reasons for us to share the information on Region 0 doctors with payers. At a basic level, it just seems like the right and ethical thing to do. Doing so could help those companies identify those physicians that may be of a concern, not just with respect to our products, but also other CII and CIII therapies. As a result, if it reduces abuse and diversion of opioids then it seems like something we should be doing."

Apparently, that employee no longer worked for Purdue Pharma just a month later.
Opioid addiction has been considered a major health epidemic in the United States, and now, as we get a look behind the scenes, we are increasingly seeing that the companies making these addictive drugs sometimes had deceptive motives in the way they sold them and in the ways they planned to addressed and even profit from increased concerns of patient addiction.


Should Medical Malpractice Be Listed As A Cause Of Death?

We have mentioned before that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the US. In fact, it's just under heart disease and cancer if placed in the official CDC annual report of the leading causes of death in the United States.
In 2013 medical error deaths reached 250,000 as compared to 98,000 in 1999. Why is it that this common cause of death is never listed anywhere by the CDC as a leading cause of death as it does for heart disease and COPD? It's possible that if the annual reporting of this cause of death were actually published people would start to become more aware of this serious issue. When these types of errors occur, hospitals and doctors never voluntarily admit their fault. A study published from 2013 recorded that only 9 percent of patients said that the hospital voluntarily disclosed medical errors in their case. In our state of Texas, the Medical Board receives over 7,000 complaints a year. These complaints are usually from the patients themselves or their families in regards to their health care provider. These complaints are statistically on the rise and are not being met with the level of attention they deserve. It's up to all of us to keep this in mind when dealing with our own health care providers. We must hold them accountable if anything goes wrong, and keep our friends and family informed of these statistics. Unfortunately, Texas pays less compensation to malpractice victims than any other state in our country.
There are a lot of challenges that face the victims of medical malpractice. The attorneys at Martin Walker Law will thoroughly investigate your situation and will work endlessly to make sure that you are compensated to the full amount possible. Contact us today for a free consultation and get the help you deserve today. (903) 526-1600.


Retailers Employ Blue Lights To Help Curb Drug Use

The next time you step into a convenience store restroom you may find it lit by blue lights.
In order to try and do something to combat the growing opioid epidemic, some supermarket chains are trialing a new method to deter drug use in their public restrooms. By replacing restrooms’ normal white florescent lights with blue ones, they hope to make it harder for drug users to find the blue colored veins that they would normally use when injecting drugs from a syringe.
This new strategy seems to be working for at least one retailer who as given it a try. Turkey Hill Minit Markets in Lancaster Pennsylvania was reported as saying that they have seen a dramatic reduction in the amount of overdose incidents since they started trialing the blue lit restrooms around six months ago.
It’s not just convenient stores that are trying this new blue light strategy. The city of Philadelphia has started offering an anti-drug kit to its residents that includes a blue tinted light bulb after drug overdose deaths increased by more than 30 percent in the last year.
For more information on this story, see the article over at ABC News.


Major Opioid Maker Calls It Quits

Could the tide be turning in the opioid crisis? Purdue Pharma, one of the major manufacturers of opioid painkillers has announced that they will no longer be marketing the drug to doctors.
The company has said it will be cutting its sales force roughly in half and shifting entirely away from marketing the OxyContin painkiller that made it billions of dollars over the past two decades.
OxyContin was originally marketed as being far less likely to be addictive than previous pain killers. This turned out to be false, and by 2007, the company was forced to admit that it had lied to doctors and patients about the risks associated with the drug. The resulting fines totaled to almost $600 million.
Now that the mood of the country has shifted, and opioid addiction is being more regularly recognized for the health emergency that it is, companies like Purdue Pharma are backing away from the drugs that helped drive their profits.
Any good news is welcome, of course, but In the meantime, the so called opioid epidemic is not over. Tens of thousands still die each year due to the ongoing drug crisis. If you or a loved one has suffered due to drug addiction or bad drug prescriptions, you may be entitled to compensation.
For more information, give us a call at (903) 526-1600, email us at info@martinwalkerlaw.com, or use our contact page to get in touch with us.


NYC Sues Opioid Manufacturers In $500 Million Lawsuit

Tuesday of this week was quite eventful for New York City.

The city itself is bringing suits against eight manufacturers of prescription opioids, stating that they are driving the epidemic that has affected NYC. Bill de Blasio, the mayor of the largest city in the U.S., states that the lawsuit is seeking $500 million in damages in order to fight the continuing opioid problem.
The companies and manufacturers being sued are:

  • Allergan Plc
  • AmerisourceBergen Corp
  • Cardinal Health Inc.
  • Endo International Plc
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • McKesson Corp
  • Purdue Pharma LP
  • Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd

The state court complaint filing pointed fingers at these manufacturers for misleading consumers that opioids, which includes medical painkillers, were safe in treating prolonged pain with an insignificant possibility of dependence.
The city is saying that manufacturers of these dangerous products are intentionally oversupplying and not reporting suspicious prescription refills which subsidizes a portion of the black market.
Which is now the result of 42,249 deaths in the United States within one year alone (2016).


5 Facts You Need to Know About the Opioid Epidemic

1. 64,000 lives have been claimed within the last year alone due to opioids.
Recent data has shown that within a 6-year period, nearly 200,000 people have died due to opioid addiction. This epidemic has its roots in corrupt pharmaceutical companies combined with unscrupulous pharmacies, and those who are responsible need to be held accountable for their actions.
2. Opioid doses are currently the leading cause of death for people under age 50.
This year, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a "public health emergency" in the United States. As opioid-dependent infants are increasing and children are gradually being found unconscious or dead in opioid-related incidents, the need for justice for these instances is paramount.
3. Construction and manufacturing workers are 5-10% more likely to use opioids than any other industry.
Two industries in the East Texas area have been hit the hardest. Due to the physical labor within these industries, many workers get hurt on the job and are in need of medication to relieve their pain. Unfortunately, these medications are highly addictive and harmful for long-term use.
4. The opioid epidemic could account for the 20% decline in the labor force participation (LFP).
According to a study by Alan Krueger, economist and professor, the labor force participation fell significantly more in countries where opioids are prescribed.
5. Painkiller prescriptions in the U.S. quadrupled between 1999 and 2010.
The CDC reported that opioid-related deaths have quadrupled correspondingly to the increase in painkiller prescriptions in the United States.

Sources: Forbes, New York Timesbrookings.edu

New Study Sheds More Light On Opioid Epidemic

A new, recently released report called into question the widely held belief that most people that became addicted to opioids got the dangerous drugs from their pharmacy without first properly consulting their doctor.
The new study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, contends that not only did more than half of those who died to an opioid overdose do so with drugs obtained from a legitimate prescription for chronic pain, only four of this group who died were ever caught as having a drug abuse problem before they overdosed.
An article in Bloomberg covering this new research noted that though opioid prescriptions have decreased somewhat since 2010, they are still much more widely prescribed now than they were back in 1999. A recent report by OM1 Inc. of US ER visits found that one in six visits to the emergency room in 2017 was related to opioids.
Studies and reports like these are continuing to shed light on this epidemic of addictive drugs and show just how large the opioid crisis has become.