Washington State recently passed a law making it easier for drug addicts to access treatment without facing criminal punishment for possession infractions. Yet, unlike similar Oregon legislation passed last year, the Washington law does not legalize drugs or decriminalize possession.
News reports and Justice Department press releases show two prominent pharmaceutical company executives are facing jail time for their role in causing the opioid epidemic.
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed suit against Kroger, Albertsons, and Rite Aid for failing to act as a final barrier to halt the spread of addictive opioids into Washington communities. This move marks the latest effort to hold pharma giants accountable for the products they made and distributed that ultimately created what may be America’s worst-ever addiction epidemic.
Over the past few years, dozens of lawsuits have culminated in major pharmaceutical companies being held at least somewhat accountable for creating America’s crippling opioid addiction epidemic. Most recently, New York State settled a $524 million lawsuit with Teva Pharmaceuticals. While the lawsuit is a monumental step in the right direction, it’s even more important that those who suffer from opioid addiction receive proper treatment.
Does it really make sense to blanket legalize drugs? On the other hand, does it really make sense to continue the War on Drugs? Or is it possible that leaving some penalties in place but altering or lessening them if treatment is completed might be more effective than either blanket legalization of drugs or ruthlessly throwing people in jail for drug use?
In a rare turn of events, Washington State has decided to move away from proposed settlements with pharma giants and instead take several corporations to trial for the role they played in creating the opioid epidemic.
For anyone touched by America’s opioid epidemic and anyone who has followed the development of this crisis, as I have, Patrick Radden Keefe’s new book adds to our knowledge of the steps that must be taken to heal from our crisis of drugs abuse and overdoses.
The Sackler Family and Purdue Pharmaceuticals deny any responsibility for the role they played in creating the opioid addiction epidemic. And while the most recent litigation against Purdue/the Sackler family ended in immunity for them and an abdication of responsibility, it wasn't too long ago that Purdue was pleading guilty to federal felony charges relating to the opioid crisis.
In an alarming development in the ongoing litigation between thousands of plaintiffs against Purdue Pharmaceuticals (and the Sackler family that owns it), a federal judge just overturned the Sackler bid for bankruptcy protection and immunity. What does this mean for America’s most important pharma lawsuit?
In the slew of recent lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies, yet another loss for Big Pharma was announced on December 30th, 2021, in the case of New York State against Teva Pharmaceuticals.