More than two million people in the United States take prescription painkillers and end up addicted to these dangerous drugs. The Centers for Disease Control drug overdose statistics show that opioids cause two out of three overdose fatalities in the United States. Medical professionals have willingly distributed these painkillers which can lead to opioid addiction.
In Canton, Georgia, former medical examiner Dr. Joseph L. Burton, 76, was indicted on federal opioid distribution charges. The Metro Atlanta, Georgia, Drug and Narcotics Agency included indictments in at least eight counties.
Healthcare fraud is usually part of the investigations into opioid distribution cases when it can be asserted that the acts were “characterized by deceit, concealment, and violation of trust.” A medical professional using his or her license for personal gain is particularly heinous.
Racketeering is also a common charge brought when law enforcement charges perpetrators. The 18 U.S. Code Chapter 96 Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) is used to prosecute conspiracy to commit unlawful business practices. Insys Therapeutics, the manufacturer of a fentanyl drug, rewarded doctors with financial incentives to prescribed large quantities of their fentanyl product, and are going on trial in Boston currently.
Opioid Addiction Class Action Lawsuits
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations press releases detail major pharmaceutical investigations. The owner of Insys Therapeutics Inc. was arrested for control of a nationwide conspiracy to profit by bribing doctors to distribute their fentanyl spray manufactured for cancer patients.
Addiction to Painkillers
Abuse of prescription medications is drug abuse according to federal law. Substance abuse doesn’t qualify as a disability, but permanent brain and organ damage from substance abuse may be the basis of a disability claim. Even liver damage is reversible. Doctor-patient relationships are indicative of the justified use of narcotic drugs. Patients who “doctor shop” for large quantities of oxycodone go outside the physician-patient relationship to get them.
Class Action Updates
The ClassAction.org Newswire lists opioid class action suits. Lawsuits filed against pharmaceutical companies for deceptive marketing of opioids left emergency room physicians with no insurance compensation for dispensing opioid medications.
A class-action lawsuit against 14 pharmaceutical companies alleges that deceptive marketing of opioids created “the worst drug crisis in American history.” Their marketing schemes “magnified the benefits of opioids while brushing off the associated risks.” The lawsuit asserts that opioids were marketed to “physicians, professional associations, hospitals, and third-party foundations.”
Savannah Personal Injury Law Firm
Call or contact our personal injury attorney in Savannah, Georgia, for an initial consultation. Our Savannah opioid injury attorney can help you if you qualify for inclusion in a class action opioid lawsuit or your physician has been involved in the opioid addiction scheme in some way.