Opioid addiction continues to be a serious problem in the United States. Opioids are a broad class of drugs that includes pain relievers such as oxycodone, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and illegal drugs such as heroin. The CDC reported that more than 46,000 U.S citizens died from opioid overdose in 2018 and 2019, over 70% of 70,630 deaths, were related to opioids.
There have been cases of malpractices in the healthcare industry such as illegal distribution and prescription of opioids without clear safeguards. The court has found some pharmaceutical companies guilty of willingly leaving channels used to distribute opioids illegally. Purdue Pharma, an OxyContin maker, received hefty fines from the government after being involved in the supply of OxyContin using a deliberate marketing scheme.
What are the common allegations in an opioid lawsuit?
The increased rate of opioid addiction has led to more and more lawsuits being filed. Most addicts are filing lawsuits to compensate for the damages caused by the addiction. The municipalities and states are suing the drug companies to recover the damages related to the opioid epidemic. Some of the common allegations in the lawsuit include;
- False advertisements and deceptive marketing practices. This happens when the drug companies overstate the benefits and understate the addiction and other health problems related to opioids.
- Failure to monitor distribution. All the drug distributors dealing with controlled substances are required by the law to prevent misuse and abuse of the distribution channel. According to the “diversion theory,” the distributors should detect something that is not in order if the number of prescriptions in a particular region is larger than the actual population in that region.
Can I sue my doctor for opioid addiction?
Doctors and physicians can be liable for medical malpractice if their prescription of opioids leads to overdosing or addiction. They are responsible for taking care of their patients, and they should be able to notice if the patients are developing any addiction, especially with controlled substances.
Whistleblowing opioid-related schemes
Anyone with evidence of an opioid scheme can become a whistleblower. If you notice any fraud against the government, healthcare, or other business entity, you can blow the whistle in a False Claims Act Lawsuit. The False Claims Act helps fight fraud against the government by allowing private citizens to sue businesses and people who cheat the government by providing false claims.
Whistleblowers are authorized to file a qui tam action which falls under the False Claims Act. The qui tam action enables the government to recover the funds lost through fraud. Any person who files a qui tam action is entitled to an award of a certain percentage of the money recovered