Opioid abuse is increasing day by day with an increase in the need of paramedics in states like Ohio. Deaths due to an overdose of such opioid drugs are increasing. Around 488 people in British Columbia died due to overdose this year. In 2016, 20 percent of the state’s total population was prescribed an opioid. Moreover, there are 793 million doses of opioids prescribed to every man, woman and child each of them provided with 68 pills each. B.C.’s former attorney-general, Ujjal Dosanjh have found a valid reason to blame five major drug and pharmaceutical companies for an opioid crisis.
Dosanjh said, “I think that there are legitimate reasons to commence legal action.” “We have a huge history where we can give a number of examples when pharmaceutical companies have deceived the public and the government. And the public has suffered consequences, devastating consequences, as we are now suffering in this opioid crisis”, he further added.
Hence, ultimately attorney general started questioning the court whether pharmaceutical companies should be held responsible for marketing the addictive nature drug to the common people. They should be compelled to pay for the hazardous consequences caused due to opioids. In 1998, Dosanjh launched a similar lawsuit against the tobacco industry in around 46 states because tobacco industries did not reveal the full information about their products.
The companies were asked to pay for the damages caused due to tobacco to the victims or victims’ families and they agreed for the same. Mike DeWine, Ohio’s Attorney General have filed a case against a couple of pharmaceutical companies including Purdue Pharma, the distributor of OxyContin, Teva Pharmaceutical and Johnson and Johnson.
“The main reason behind launching the lawsuit would be to actually ensure that the pharmaceutical companies should stop to mislead the public with respect to the effects of the medication and drugs they produce. Not only for this moment but in future as well”, Mike added.
This lawsuit was inspired by similar lawsuits that were launched in other countries like Illinois, Mississippi, four counties in New York, and Sant Clara and Orange Counties in California. A similar case was filed in Cherokee Nation in tribal court for an opioid epidemic.