If you or a loved one have been a victim of overdose or other serious complication caused by opioid over-prescription, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the drug’s manufacturer, doctor or hospital responsible for your injuries.  Damages typically include such things as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, medical expenses, wage loss and more.

From 1999 to 2014, more than 165,000 persons died of overdose related to opioid pain medication in the United States.  In 2013 alone, an estimated 1.9 million persons abused or were dependent on prescription opioid pain medication.

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Some of the most commonly prescribed types of opioid painkillers include:

  • Vicodin (hydrocodone)
  • OxyContin (oxycodone)
  • Dilaudid (hydromorphone)
  • Methadose, Diskets, Dolophine (methadone)
  • Percodan (aspirin/oxycodone)
  • Percocet (acetaminophen/oxycodone)
  • Demerol (meperidine)
  • Tylox (acetaminophen/oxycodone)
  • Duragesic or fentanyl pain patch (sold generically under the brand names Sandoz, Watson and Mylan)

Opioid narcotics reduce nerve excitability by binding to opioid receptors in the brain, spinal cord and other parts of the body, thereby reducing pain messages the brain receives.  This type of medication may be prescribed when a patient is experiencing moderate to severe pain.  While they are an important part of medical care, there is a growing epidemic of prescription pain medication addiction, overdoses and death.

Recent News

Opana Linked to Abuse and Injection-Related Diseases, Endo International Halts Sales

July 6, 2017 – Endo International PLC has agreed to stop selling the powerful painkiller, Opana ER, which has been linked to injection-related diseases and widespread abuse since its release in 2012.

Originally approved by the FDA in 2006, the company reformulated the drug in 2012 to be more resistant to crushing and snorting, resulting in an uptick in users liquefying and injecting the drug. The increase in injections has caused “a serious outbreak of HIV and hepatitis C,” noted the FDA.

This is the first time the FDA has sought to cease sales of an opioid due to misuse and abuse.

In favor of abuse-deterrent technology, the FDA is still encouraging drug manufacturers to incorporate measures to prevent users from manipulating extended-release drugs due to the dangers of all active ingredients expelling immediately.

In a recent press release, Scott Gottleib, FDA Commissioner called it a public health crisis and said that agencies must take steps to reduce it.  “We will continue to take regulatory steps when we see situations where an opioid product’s risks outweigh its benefits, not only for its intended patient population but also in regard to its potential for misuse and abuse,” he said.

The drug brought in almost $160 million in sales for Endo last year, making up about 14% of the drug companies revenue.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has cited more than 90 deaths per day in the U.S. due to opioid overdose.

About The Lawsuit

In the mid-80s the manufacturers of the opioid narcotics began to aggressively market their products for long-term pain which was not related to cancer.  This included post-operative pain, pain from trauma and neck and back pain. The manufacturers also provided  money to the American Academy of Pain Management and the American Pain Society.

A joint analysis by the Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity looked at campaign contributions from opioid manufacturers to politicians across the country from 2006 through 2015.

The two organizations concluded opioid manufacturers and the advocacy groups that support them spent $880 million nationally in campaign contributions and hired a lot of lobbyists to influence state and federal policies that affect their interests. They concluded that’s about eight times what the gun industry spends on lobbyists. In 2007, Purdue Pharma and three of its top executives pleaded guilty to criminal charges that they had misled the FDA, clinicians, and patients about the risks of OxyContin addiction and abuse by aggressively marketing the drug to providers and patients as a safe alternative to short-acting narcotics.

These opioid painkillers are frequently prescribed by pain specialists with experience in administering these drugs to patients. However, they may be prescribed by any licensed physician and studies exist showing that non-pain specialists may have trouble administering a correct dose of painkillers to their patients. When these errors result in overdose or death, the doctor or hospital may be at fault.

On March 22, 2016 The FDA announced it was requiring immediate release opioids to carry black box warnings informing users of the risk of abuse, addiction, overdose and death. The warnings on certain opioids will also state the drug should only be used for patients with pain so severe that no other treatment is effective. This new warning requirement follows on the heels of the FDA requiring similar black box warnings for extended release opioids in 2013. Now both immediate release and extended release opioids must provide information regarding the risk of serotonin syndrome, adrenal insufficiency and androgen deficiency.

If you or a loved one have been the victim of an overdose or other serious complications caused by opioid over prescription, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the drug’s manufacturer, doctor or hospital that was responsible for your injuries.

Potential Injuries

Serotonin Syndrome: This is a condition that causes high levels of serotonin in the body. While this chemical is essential to the functioning of the brain and nerve cells, too much can cause serious problems. These range from minor (shivering and diarrhea) to severe (fever, seizures and muscle rigidity). This problem can even be fatal if it is not properly treated.

Androgen Deficiency: Androgen deficiency is a chronic problem that is often under-diagnosed. Opioids can inhibit the secretion of androgen, a hormone the body needs for sex drive as well as proper sexual functioning.

Adrenal Insufficiency: This is a rare hormonal disorder that occurs when the adrenal glands cannot produce enough of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol not only helps with cardiovascular functioning and blood pressure maintenance, it also helps regulate the metabolism of fats, proteins and carbohydrates

Addiction

Overdose/Death

Do I Have A Case?

If you or a loved one have been the victim of an overdose or other serious complications caused by opioid over prescription, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the drug’s manufacturer, doctor or hospital that was responsible for your injuries.

WHAT WILL AN ATTORNEY COST ME?

We represent our clients on a contingency fee basis.  This means that you pay no attorney fees until we win your claim.  If we are unable to successfully resolve your claim, you are not obligated to pay attorneys’ fees.

IS THIS A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT?

No.  This issue is proceeding as a mass tort. That means each individual we represent will have his or her own individual claim for their own distinct damages, because the nature and extent of injuries are separate and distinct. We will negotiate settlements considering the facts of each individual case to ensure compensation to the degree of damages suffered.  Damages typically include such things as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, medical expenses, wage loss and more.

In a class action, all plaintiffs have the same or similar damages.  An example would be consumers who purchased the same defective product, such as a washing machine with a defective part.  A class action will bring thousands of victims together and aggregate claims where it may be impractical to efficiently pursue claims individually.

About Sanders Phillips Grossman

Sanders Phillips Grossman has been holding pharmaceutical companies responsible for injuring individuals by their defective drugs and devices for over 30 years. Our firm created an Opioids Task Force to help communities. Defective drugs are pharmaceuticals with side effects that potentially harm, injure, or kill the patient to the point that they outweigh the drug’s intended benefits. Defective devices, such as faulty prosthetics, implants, pacemakers or surgical instruments can harm patients when the product is defective in the manufacturing process, design or marketing strategy.

Pharmaceutical companies are some of the largest, wealthiest, and most influential corporate entities in the world. Sanders Phillips Grossman and its predecessors have recovered over one billion dollars for injured consumers. Our firm’s history in dealing with drug and medical device injury claims has allowed us to take leadership roles in many of the national defective drug and device litigations.

Nationally recognized as a leading plaintiff’s law firm, we handle cases in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Read more about our attorneys here.

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