Cities with high numbers of opioid overdoses are suing drug manufacturers for downplaying the serious side effects of this drug class. On this subject, the Justice Department’s Inspector General released a critical assessment at the beginning of October 2019. The lengthy document indicates the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) did not step in as overdoses increased and painkillers flooded the black market. The Inspector General claims their practices, many with loopholes and insufficient monitoring, are partially to blame.
Purdue Pharma, manufacturer of the drug OxyContin, filed for bankruptcy after reaching a tentative settlement with several state and local governments suing it in connection with addiction and deaths that have resulted from the drug’s use. From 1999 to 2017, it’s estimated 218,000 people have died in the U.S. from overdoses related to prescription opioids.
On August 26th, the judge hearing the opioid case brought by Oklahoma against Johnson & Johnson awarded the state $572 million. It is the first ruling to hold a pharmaceutical company responsible for the opioid crisis.
Doctors may steer patients toward proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to treat a range of gastrointestinal issues, from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) to stomach ulcers. Short term, these prescriptions and over-the-counter medications cut down on stomach acid production, which provides relief and allows any ulcers to heal.
According to the FDA, medication errors result in about 1.3 million injuries to Americans each year. These instances cover a broad scope of healthcare procedures, systems and professionals, including inaccurate or inappropriate personal use.