CA Counties, Chicago, Sue OxyContin Manufacturers Over Drug Abuse


Two California counties and the city of Chicago, hard hit by OxyContin addiction, are suing the drug’s manufacturers, NPR reports. They’re charging that the drug-makers have contributed to an epidemic of prescription drug abuse. Addiction to painkillers is a national epidemic, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In Santa Clara County, just outside of San Francisco, the number of opioid-related deaths tripled from 2003 to 2013, says assistant County Counsel Danny Chou. “The reason that this crisis has occurred is based on the decades-long marketing plan by these drug companies to create a market for these drugs that never should have existed,” Chou tells NPR. “And this has spawned a new generation of addicts and abusers.” Asks NPR: “As the lawsuits against the drugmakers advance, a key question will be who’s to blame – the patients who ask for it, the doctors who prescribe it, or the companies that create and market it?”

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