New information about the ongoing opioid crisis struck the nation as the Washington Post has published conclusive evidence that a deluge of opioid pills was delivered to consumers, galvanizing the opioid crisis. According to the Post, this deluge of opioid pills drenched the nation with 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills from 2006 through 2012.
Quantifying The Deluge of Opioid Pills
Putting the deluge of opioid pills into scope is difficult to accomplish. 76 billion is such a large number that it is difficult to consider. To quantify this number, when compared to the population of the United States (314 million people) the deluge of opioid pills could give 242 pills to every citizen of the nation.
Comparing that metric with the number of prescriptions recorded by the Center for Disease Control in 2012, each prescribed patient could receive 300 pills. According to Michigan Open, the most any individual should take for a single operation is a maximum of 50 pills for Total Knee Arthroplasty. That means that, excluding regular users of opioids, each prescribed patient could take 6 full prescriptions worth of total knee arthroplasty surgeries. This massive number of prescriptions may contribute to the nearly 100,000 deaths that occurred from 2006 until 2012.
The opioid crisis has been hugely controversial, centering around several companies according to the Post. Of the total deluge of opioid pills, 57 billion were distributed by just six major companies:
- Cardinal Health
- McKesson Corporation
Additionally, only three companies manufactured 88 percent of the deluge of opioid pills, providing nearly 67 billion of the pills:
- Actavis Pharma
- Par Pharmaceutical (Endo Pharmaceuticals)
- SpecGx (Mallinckrodt)
Purdue Pharma, widely considered to be an instigator for the opioid crisis with the introduction of OxyContin was ranked fourth among manufacturers with about 3 percent of the market or another 2.28 billion opioid pills supplied.
Those companies, as well as more than a dozen others, are currently engaged in thousands of lawsuits in a designated federal court in Cleveland by nearly 2,000 cities, towns and counties. The lawsuits allege that the companies conspired to deliver a deluge of opioid pills to the nation.
In response to these litigations, companies have blamed the opioid epidemic on doctors, pharmacies, and patients who abused the drugs. The companies have stated that they were only working to supply the needs of patients with legitimate prescriptions desperate for pain relief. This argument seems to hold water until the database information was revealed and it was shown that each of these companies supplied over a billion opioids each.
These massive volumes were dispensed year by year, to towns and cities that were clearly ordering prescription amounts exceeding even the population of their residents. Incontrovertibly, these companies allowed their opioids to reach the streets of communities despite persistent warning signs that pills were being sold in violation of federal law and diverted to the black market, according to the complaints of the lawsuits.
Although every company has denied wrongdoing and defended the deluge of opioid pills as legitimate, they have also paid more than $1 billion in fines to the Department of Justice and U.S. Food and Drug Administration over opioid-related issues, as well as hundreds of millions in settlements at the state level. Despite their message of transparency and clear innocence, lawsuit transcripts and settlement conditions have been accompanied by agreements to keep evidence and depositions hidden and to strike complaints and other evidence of wrongdoing.
For more information about the risks and dangers of opioids, visit Parker Waichman’s comprehensive Opioid Lawsuit Page.
How The Revelation of This Deluge of Opioid Pills Affects Consumer Suits
Though the deluge of opioid pills may have come and gone, 76 billion pills is a quantifiably excessive amount of opioids for manufacturers to send out. As many have echoed, while this does not conclusively prove negligence, it certainly indicates a line of questioning towards it. To that end, this revelation of hard numbers attributed to specific manufacturers and distributors allows the public to see some of the factual data of the opioid crisis amid redactions and private depositions in most lawsuits. Now seems to be the best time to stake your claim if you or a loved one have been affected by the opioid crisis.
If you or a loved one have been affected and need legal counsel, choose the best. Choose Parker Waichman LLP. At Parker Waichman LLP, teams of experts ready to pursue justice for you to earn the compensation that you deserve. Don’t wait. Contact Parker Waichman today for a free consultation.
New York | Brooklyn | Queens | Long Island | New Jersey | Florida
Call us at: 1-800-YOURLAWYER (800-968-7529) | Schedule your free consultation