June 3, 2014 — Five major pharmaceutical companies have been hit with a lawsuit filed by the city of Chicago. Mayor Rahm Emanual is seeking $9.5 million in damages for costs of filling prescriptions for opioid painkillers, such as OxyContin and Percocet.
Lawyers accuse drug-makers of using aggressive tactics to push the drugs on people with chronic pain while downplaying risks like addiction, overdose, and abuse.
According to a statement from the Mayor’s Press Office, a 2008 investigation discovered that 87% of all opioids dispensed were for patients with chronic pain on a long-term basis, although there is no scientific evidence supporting long-term use of opioid painkillers for non-cancer pain.
The mayor accused drug-makers of spending millions of dollars to convince doctors and front groups to promote opioids for chronic pain management. Lawyers also charge drug-makers with deceptively marketing opioid painkillers as rarely addictive in order to boost profits.
The mayor stated:
“For years, big pharma has deceived the public about the true risks and benefits of highly potent and highly addictive painkillers in order to expand their customer base and increase their bottom line. This has led to a dramatic rise in drug addiction, overdose and diversion in communities across the nation, and Chicago is not immune to this epidemic.”
Firms named in the lawsuit include:
- Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals
- Purdue Pharma
- Endo Health Solutions Inc.
- Teva Pharmaceutical Industries’ Cephalon Inc.
This is not the first time drug-makers have come under scrutiny for marketing of opioids. Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, agreed to pay $634 million to resolve civil and criminal charges filed by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2007. The settlement agreement resolved charges that Purdue used aggressive tactics to mislead doctors, regulators, and patients about the dangers of OxyContin.
Do I have an OxyContin Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting OxyContin induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Drug Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
Attention Lawyers: We consider a referral from another law firm to be one of the greatest compliments. If your firm is interested in referring us a case or for us to send you a list of previous award judgments and/or average referral fees, please visit the Lawyer Referral section of our website.