Pts have a responsibility for abusing opiates & addictive behavior ?

On opioid lawsuits, powerful Texas Republican says there is blame to go around

AUSTIN — As Texas House lawmakers investigate what the state’s response should be to the growing opioid crisis here and around the nation, tort reformers are growing concerned that trial lawyers are “unethically” recruiting clients to go after big pharmaceutical companies.

Chairman of the Select Committee on Opioids and Substance Abuse, state Rep. Four Price, R-Amarillo, was asked about “ambulance chasing” attorneys by Jay Leeson, host of the Other Side of Texas Radio Show based in Lubbock.

In response, Price pointed out that the committee’s study of the issue – as laid out by retiring Speaker Joe Straus – does not include looking at litigation.

That’s even though some counties around the state including Upshur, Bexar and Harris have filed suit against manufacturers of opioids seeking to recoup uncompensated care costs.

 Price noted that at least $350 million in opioid overdose-related costs have been racked up at local emergency rooms.

“If you really study these issues, there’s a shared level of responsibility up and down that spectrum from the manufactures to the prescribers to the distributors to the patients themselves,” he said.

Price said the committee will take its time in coming up with recommendations by November for the next Legislature to consider. “Not all of big pharma’s going to love our recommendations. I’m sure not all prescribers or patients will love our recommendations,” he said.

The full story can be found in the Quorum Report. Copyright 2018, Harvey Kronberg,, All rights are reserved. This story is presented as part of the Houston Chronicle’s collaboration with Quorum Report. For inside information on Texas politics and government and to sign up for real-time updates, go here.

2 Responses

  1. I was told…..over a year ago by a NC State Medical Board spokes woman that there would be NO more high dosages of opioid medication prescribed, get used to it. She stated that her Father In Law could hardly get out of bed any more. Is this supposed to “make it right” to abuse or abandon lifetime pain management patients? Who actually knows what a “high dosage” is? I would think that a well tolerated, effective, dosage of opioid medication would be appropriate for each individual. A well tailored dosage of opioid medication as the very last means for pain management among non cancer patients effective IS appropriate. NOT a “blanket” maximum dosage for one and all patients. POSSIBLY in the future we will learn more about effective pain management but, for right now…..people are suffering worse with documented cases of pain management and even giving up and ending it all. Sacrifice pain mangement patients for the bad judgement of medication abusers or illicit, prescribed, and “legal” alcohol combined toxic use? There is an answer but, it is not to cause worsened suffering of well documented opioid medication prescribed lifetime pain enduring patients! In my gut, I feel as if dot/gov really don’t give a damn abut the “means” of a stated goal, just the end results.

    • It wouldn’t even be so bad if the goal was really the goal. Opioid prescriptions have gone drastically down since 2011, but ODs continue to increase due to illegal drugs. So the guv’s response is…we have to reduce opioid prescriptions more. “It’s not working, so we need to do more of the same, & harder!”

      Of course, it’s been proven beyond all doubt that they can’t do diddly about stopping illegal drug use, manufacture, or importation, so they’re haring off after something they CAN accomplish, whether it has anything to do with stated goals or not.

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