Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter has joined the ranks of state attorneys general who have sued manufacturers of opioid pain medication, alleging that deceptive marketing campaigns by the drug makers have fueled the state’s opioid epidemic. More than a dozen such drug manufacturers were sued by the attorney general. It was alleged in the lawsuit that they “executed massive and unprecedented marketing campaigns through which they misrepresented the risks of addiction from their opioids and touted unsubstantiated benefits.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that opioids, including prescription painkillers, were factors in more than 33,000 deaths across the U.S. in 2015, and opioid overdoses have more than quadrupled since 2000. More Oklahoma residents have died since 2009 from opioid-related deaths than in vehicle crashes in the state. The lawsuit states that Oklahoma is one of the leading states in prescription painkiller sales per capita, with 128 painkiller prescriptions dispensed per 100 people in 2012.
Source: Tim Talley, Insurance Journal
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