facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Two California Counties Sue Big Pharma For Painkiller 'Deception'

Officials from Orange and Santa Clarita counties have sued five of the largest drug companies for false advertising and misleading doctors about narcotic painkillers.

Image: 

Shutterstock

By Shawn Dwyer

05/22/14

| Share

According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, two California counties have recently filed suit against five of the biggest pharmaceutical companies for what officials have called a “campaign of deception,” alleging that the makers of opioid painkillers purposely lied about the effects of their drugs in order to increase profits.

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckus declared that his intention is "to stop the lies about what these drugs do" while pursuing the case “as a matter of public protection.”

"In order to put money in their pockets, they've done serious harm to many thousands of people," Rackauckus told the Times.

Both Orange and Santa Clarita counties have been hammered by overdose deaths and drastically increased medical costs due to the rise of prescription narcotic use in recent years. "California is suffering disproportionately from this problem, so it is appropriate for this state to take up this hammer," said Rackauckus.

In what could be a landmark case akin to the tobacco settlement in the 1990s, the lawsuit alleges that the five drug companies named – Actavis, Endo Health Solutions, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Purdue Pharma, and Cephalon Inc – knowingly violated California laws by falsely advertising their products, engaging in unfair business practices, and creating a public nuisance.

The complaint goes on to allege that the drug companies manipulated doctors into thinking that the benefits of prescription narcotics outweighed the risks, leading many doctors across Southern California to prescribe drugs that led to fatal overdoses with patients.

Because the companies used "marketing - and not any medical breakthrough - that rationalized prescribing opioids for chronic pain and opened the floodgates of opioid use and abuse," the suit said, they "deprived California patients and their doctors of the ability to make informed medical decisions and, instead, caused important, sometimes life-or-death decisions to be made based not on science, but on hype.”

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu
 
 
 
 

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery
 
 
 
 

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center
 
 
 
 

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 

Reflections
 
 
 
 

This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea
 
 
 
 

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu
 
 
 
 

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv