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Fed Up With Opioid Deaths, Multnomah County Sues Drug Makers for $250 Million

Joining more than two dozen other U.S. government entities, Multnomah County, Oregon, is the latest to file a lawsuit against opioid drug makers for the part they played in pushing their drugs while hiding or downplaying their addictive and harmful effects. The county wants $250 million for the drug companies’ “campaign of lies and deceptions,” Oregon Live reports. Opioid sales nationwide are currently a $13 billion-a-year industry.

One more time, the refrain is clear: Drug companies deliberately have overstated safety factors that are real concerns with the use of opioids. Statistics show that addiction affects more than 1 in 4 opioid users, making prescription painkillers the No. 1 gateway to heroin. Not only that, opioids, specifically, can increase your risk of being involved in a car crash by a factor of 10.

With Americans using 80 percent of the global opioid supply, and opioid addiction topping $193 billion annually, it’s easy to see why so many people are dying from these drugs — and why more governments are suing as bodies pile up in morgues. And they’re not alone. Many Americans believe the drug companies that create and sell opioids need to be held accountable for America's drug problem, especially since several have been caught lying about the benefits and risks of their drugs.

Clearly, the U.S. health care system is grossly ineffective when it comes to addressing chronic health problems. Whether pain is promoting hopelessness or the other way around is difficult to ascertain, but the two appear to be closely intertwined and need to be addressed together. Suing drug companies for negligence and deceit is a good beginning.
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