Settlement Reached Prior to First Federal Opioid Trial
The opioid epidemic has claimed the lives of over 400,000 Americans in the past twenty years. Earlier this morning, Cuyahoga and Summit counties agreed to a tentative settlement against drug makers and distributors prior to the first federal opioid trial scheduled for later this afternoon. These two Ohio counties are part of the National Prescription Opiate Litigation committee, which includes more than 2,700 communities who are seeking legal action against Cardinal Health, McKesson, Amerisource Bergen, and Teva.
The two counties blame the makers and distributors for fueling the opioid epidemic. The plaintiffs of the opioid trial claim that the manufacturers and distributors boosted sales by advertising false claims that the opioid pills were less addictive and more effective. The advertising led to an astronomical number of prescriptions that flooded the streets with opiates.
In a statement regarding the settlement, the plaintiff’s lawyers stated, “will make significant progress to abate the epidemic by providing resources for and applying funds directly to necessary opioid-recovery programs”
Although the number of prescription opioids on the black market is declining, heroin and fentanyl overdose are rising dramatically. From 2014 to 2018 Fentanyl overdose deaths climbed from 6,000 to a whopping 32,000. Fentanyl has been found in many common street drugs over the last few years. It is ten times more potent than morphine, and a small dosage can be deadly.
We will be watching this opioid trial closely over the coming weeks. We hope that the drug manufacturers and distributors will allocate funds towards addiction treatment and recovery services across the United States.
If you or someone you know is struggling with fentanyl, opiate or any other form of alcohol and drug addiction, please feel free to reach out to Surfside. We would be happy to assist you in finding the necessary treatment services.