“Because of the deceptive conduct of these drug companies, millions of Americans have become prescription drug addicts and abusers.”
California officials maintain that the prescription painkiller epidemic has taken a heavy toll on their state – and they say that five pharmaceutical companies are to blame.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2010, there were enough prescription painkillers – also known as opioids – prescribed to medicate every American adult around-the-clock for one month. On top of that, overdoses of these prescription painkillers have more than tripled in the past 20 years, killing more than 15,500 people in the United States in 2009. And, for every one overdose death from prescription painkillers, there are 130 people who abuse them and 825 people who take these drugs for non-medical use, according to data from the CDC.
In response to the epidemic, two of California’s largest counties have filed a civil suit against five of the world’s largest painkiller manufactures, on behalf of the entire state. On May 23rd, attorneys for Santa Clara and Orange counties filed a complaint, naming Actavis, Endo Health Solutions Inc., Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Purdue Pharma and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries’ Cephalon Inc. as defendants.