DOJ to Support Lawsuits Against Companies Selling Opioids


The Justice Department said Tuesday it will support local officials in hundreds of lawsuits against manufacturers and distributors of powerful opioid painkillers that are fueling the nation’s drug abuse crisis.

The move is part of a broader effort to more aggressively target prescription drugmakers for their role in the epidemic, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. The Justice Department will file a statement of interest in the multidistrict lawsuit, arguing the federal government has borne substantial costs as a result of the crisis that claimed more than 64,000 lives in 2016.

 The Trump administration has said it is focusing intensely on fighting drug addiction, but critics say its efforts fall short of what is needed. Trump signed off this month on a bipartisan budget deal to provide a record $6 billion over the next two years to fight opioids, but it’s not yet decided how that will be allocated.

The statement of interest was the latest move by the Justice Department, which has also sought to crack down on black market drug peddlers and doctors who negligently prescribe.

It could increase the role of the federal government in talks aimed at reaching a settlement between government entities, drugmakers, distributors and others. A federal judge in Cleveland is overseeing the talks as an attempt to resolve the case rather than hold a trial involving more than 370 plaintiffs, mostly county and local governments. The talks also include a group of about 40 states that are conducting a joint investigation of the crisis but which have not yet sued, as well as states that have sued in state courts.

Targets of the lawsuits include drugmakers such as Allergan, Johnson & Johnson, and Purdue Pharma, and the three large drug distribution companies, Amerisource Bergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson. Drug distributors and manufacturers named in these and other lawsuits have said they don’t believe litigation is the answer but have pledged to help solve the crisis.

Any settlement deal could include billions of dollars in payments that could be used for treatment programs, abuse prevention and to cover some of the costs incurred by government dealing with the crisis. A filing could also put the federal government in line to receive some of the payouts in a deal. But any settlement is not likely to cover the cost of the crisis. A White House report last year estimated the annual cost at about $500 billion, including deaths, health care, lost productivity and criminal justice costs.

“It’s a game-changer,” Ohio‘s attorney general Mike DeWine said of the Justice Department’s involvement. “It’s a real realization of what has been going on.”

The latest effort by the Justice Department targets powerful, but legal, prescription painkillers OxyContin and Vicodin, which have been widely blamed for ushering in the drug crisis. But prescribing of those drugs has been falling since 2011 due to policies by government, medical and law enforcement officials designed to reverse years of overprescribing.

The majority of opioid deaths now involve illegal drugs, especially the ultra-potent opioid fentanyl. Deaths tied to those fentanyl and related drugs doubled in 2016, to more than 19,000, dragging down Americans’ life expectancy for the second year in a row.

Guess who is going to get all the “gold” if these attorneys are going to be able to win these cases for SELLING A LEGAL PRODUCT ?  What product is next… Caffeine …. Sugar… Chocolate… Fast Food… Soda ?

13 Responses

  1. Please See and Read lymecrymes The CDC is about to have to answer to THE TRUTH, COVER-UP, AND LIES. The information is the most factual and organized I have Ever seen, and read. Once you read this, much, if not all of what we’re going through now will make perfect sense.

  2. And then there is the “coroner’s” issue, which is interesting in itself, and was addressed in a newspaper article several years back by investigative reporter, Mary Beth Pfiffer, addressing the Lyme pandemic, (which is still severely kept quiet) I strongly believe that the Now Global, and deeply political Lyme pandemic, along with the suppressed and dangerous -(uncontained) EMFS, are all related to the “pain” epidemic.

    • Don’t forget about all the bodily damage done by floroquinilones like Cipro, levaquin, etc. Research all the problems caused by this drug class, many sound just like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, Gulf War syndrome these drugs cause mitochondrial damage especially if used multiple times as the damage is cumulative usually. I am seeing now that the FDA has finally put warnings on their site about this. Now my question is Who’s going to compensate all the people who will likely never recover and I will also say how inhumane it is to now torture everyone effected by intractable pain and chronic fatigue by denying the only medications that work for many of us.

  3. I think these companies should refuse to be sued again for the same thing, they’ve already been sued for this, it would be smarter for them to take the position to out PROP, show their lies and malfeasance and start lobbying for chronic intractable pain patients. Hire some excellent researchers, I’m positive the evidence is there to be used. This bs needs to be stopped, has anyone tried to contact these accused drug companies?

  4. Also Sky, Check out Pharmacist Steve, Feb. 24,2018, (New position…) To Submit A Story Idea To One Of The ABC Shows.

    He tells you how to get your story out to the major news networks who so far have not covered this. Don’t forget NBC, CBS and 60 MINUTES.

  5. Sky, Another thing is that you have to find out who the Health Issues staffer is for your Senators/Representatives (Google it and call), and send all correspondence to that person. Otherwise you will always get a form letter. MENTION THAT THEY WILL LOSE YOUR VOTE (and every pain patient you know), if they don’t get a bill to ensure we GET OUR PAIN RELIEVERS AND AT THE DOSE WE NEED! Steve’s right, it’s about votes/money/power.

    Check out Valerie Hawk at: She will help you and direct you to the sites and comment places where your voice will make a difference! She really wants to hear from Painers to give us a voice! See Pharmacist Steve, Feb. 24, (New co)…. The Coalition of 50 STATES.

  6. Obviously our judges have been paid off,,,to NOT honor the law,,,or informed consent in this country,,,,I mean where do u go,,,since the judges are totally corrupt to get justice,freedom of choice,and to know that if u are a doctor,a manufacturer,,or a pain patient,,,that the right to access will once again be honored,,,if all of the professionals have dropped out or choosen to quit anything to do w/opiates,,,if their rights will never be protected in our courts by the judges??,,,they will quit even more!!!This is going to open the door for Kolodyn to go full throttle on his addiction warehouses,,,callen us addicts,,,as adults who take medicines containing opiate medicinelawfully,, etc,,,,,,,Our country is going backwards for sure,,,,,Back to the corrupt dark ages ,,,where laws,responsibility as adults for what u put in our own dang body,,,etc,,Since the judges are totally corrupt,,,,,,??????????,,boy its a sad day in this country,,

  7. I must be wasting my time every single day that I send letters and articles to my representatives. I literally spend hours each and everyday to write emails, then print them out and send them snail mail. I don’t understand how these people can be shown the truth, then do things like this. Ugh, so frustrating! Myself, and many, many others spend a lot of time trying to educate our representatives, just to get a form letter in return. Do they ever read what we send to them?!? Am I the only one who feels like they are reaching their breaking point? What should I/we do other than write letters and emails? What is needed to get our voices heard? Someone, please tell me what I am missing here.

    • Members of Congress only cares about two things… votes and $$$ for their election campaign… normally 98% of Congress gets re-elected no matter what they have done – or not done – during their term. Congress functions on seniority basis… the more years of tenure the more power the member of Congress has. So if 98% of Congress gets re-elected, does anyone really believe that contact from the people they represent really has much chance of influencing how they vote. Has anyone in the chronic pain community approached their member of Congress and asked them to sponsor a bill to help chronic painers to get their meds? Since it is reported that 90% of those families with a chronic painer.. are struggling financially… the only thing that a chronic painer – and the chronic pain community has – is their VOTES.. Every two years 485 members of the House and 33-34 members of the Senate are up for re-election… this year there has already been 35 that have announced that they are not running for re-election… that is about 4+ TIMES that would not get re-elected – if they ran… RUNNING FOR THE HILLS ?

    • Try calling and make appointment to meet with your representatives, face to face. Most have multiple offices throughout your state. Take all your letters and facts with you.
      Call media, local, national and get stories out there.
      Don’t forget the pain rally on April 7th, each state has their own- where set up, not all states had enough to get set up.

  8. Because heroin isn’t the cause of this epidemic, right? (said sarcastically!)

    • And the fentynal that is being sold on the street isn’t pharmaceutical grade fentynal either. It is being made in clandestine illegal labs much like meth is made illegally and sold on the black market. So instead of lawsuits against legal manufacturers of narcotics heroin and other drug dealers are the ones who need sued. Let them sue the Mexican drug cartels that are illegally bringing this stuff into the US. Let’s stop blaming prescription drugs for all addictions. 95 percent of people with legitimate prescriptions for narcotics for chronic pain take their medication as prescribed and are not abusing it. They are physically dependant on the medication but are not addicted to it. A very big difference. Most people abusing and addicted to prescription medications do not have a legal prescription for it. Therefore it is just as illegal for them to have it as heroin or methamphetamines are. Blame needs to start being placed on the appropriate, responsible parties instead of using properly prescribed and obtainted, legal narcotic pain medications and doctors as scapegoats.

      • It isn’t that it is just not pharmaceutical grade .. the only approved Fentanyl in the USA is Fentanyl Citrate and the Fentanyl on the street is one of 18 – or so – illegal Fentanyl analogs. They are cheaper to make than Heroin and 10-20 times more potent than Heroin …

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