The abuse and misuse of prescription, non-prescription, and illegal opioid drugs is devastating North America, and as municipalities and communities struggle to deal with the many causes for and approaches to resolving widespread opioid addiction, the city Everett, WA is suing the makers of OxContin for their role in flooding the streets with pills.
“Everett’s lawsuit, now in federal court in Seattle, accuses Purdue Pharma of gross negligence and nuisance. The city seeks to hold the company accountable, the lawsuit alleges, for “supplying OxyContin to obviously suspicious pharmacies and physicians and enabling the illegal diversion of OxyContin into the black market” and into Everett, despite a company program to track suspicious flows.”
Everett has spent millions of dollars in combating the epidemic, and Mayor Ray Stephanson believes that Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, a powerful opioid which is perhaps the most abused pharmaceutical medication on the planet, should bear some of the burden.
The city alleges that Purdue Pharma knowingly helped questionable doctors and pharmacies in flooding the black market with product.
“Everett is suing Purdue Pharma, maker of the opioid pain medication OxyContin, in an unusual case that alleges the drugmaker knowingly allowed pills to be funneled into the black market and the city of about 108,000. Everett alleges the drugmaker did nothing to stop it and must pay for damages caused to the community.”
This scheme is reminiscent of the pill mills of Florida, in which suspicious establishments, which were clearly running illegal sales operations, were supported by the pharmaceutical corporations to sell product and expand market share. Purdue was forced to pay $630 million in legal penalties to the federal government in 2007, for their willful misrepresentation of the safety risks of their drugs.
A statement about the lawsuit says the City of Everett holds Purdue accountable for, “supplying OxyContin to obviously suspicious pharmacies and physicians and enabling the illegal diversion of OxyContin into the black market,” even though the company claims to have an effective means of tracking and accounting for their pills.
Mayor Stephanson states:
“Our community has been significantly damaged, and we need to be made whole.” ~Mayor Ray Stephanson, Everett, Washington
Purdue is planning on fighting this lawsuit, and it is not yet known how much Everett is seeking.
How long before we can officially call this epidemic a bona fide conspiracy?
In December of 2016, 6 pharmaceutical executives were arrested in Massachusetts for conspiring to over prescribe the dangerous opioid, fentanyl. Makers of Naloxone, the quickest and most effective antidote for opiate overdose, have been jacking up their prices in response to rapidly increasing demand for their product, which may be considered price gauging. And pharmaceutical companies are planning on globally expanding the market for opioids, potentially triggering a world-wide crisis of overdose and death.
Meanwhile, the effective, natural plant medicine iboga, which is known to interrupt both the physical symptoms of addiction, and the psychological and spiritual roots of opioid addiction, is banned by the DEA as a schedule I drug, in spite of overwhelming evidence of its effectiveness.
The documentary film The OxyContin Express, sheds more light on how the current opioid crisis began, and how it is being sustained with the help of doctors and pharmaceutical companies.