As America tries to push back against the epidemic of opioid abuse and addiction, a plethora of lawsuits—literally thousands—have been filed by states, cities and counties against manufacturers and distributors. The gist of the charges is that the Drug Lords understated the addictive potential of the drugs, and either encouraged and promoted over-prescription or willfully ignored that such drugs were being over-prescribed.
Trends Journal has been reporting on this for some time, as, for example, in October 2019’s “THE OPIOID WARS.”
Now comes word, as reported on 21 July by The New York Times, that a large number of those lawsuits, brought against Big Pharma firms Cardinal Health, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and Johnson & Johnson, were on the verge of settlement. A few days later states agreed to a $26 billion settlement with drug companies despite a number of states and attorneys arguing that payout by the drug companies is still not enough.
But the drug companies reportedly jumped on board because part of the settlement is that they will not be named in any future opioid litigation, and the private lawyers who helped bring the lawsuits seem pleased to be cutting up between them a jackpot of some $2 billion.
Indeed, another of the factors that had delayed settlement was lawyers bickering over their cut of the deal. And before the victim’s families and rehabilitation programs see a penny of the settlement, lawyers will be first while other entities involved will have to wait up to 17 years before the settlement is totally paid.
The Drug Lords can also settle without admitting any actual wrongdoing or liability; they have maintained that they were merely supplying drugs that had been approved by the federal government.
There are still other lawsuits, against other Drug Lords, that have yet to approach settlement, and some of the manufacturers and distributors named have even sought bankruptcy protection. There are even cases still pending against retail chains such as Walgreens, CVS and Walmart.
TRENDPOST: We note this article to illustrate the hypocrisy of the so-called “legal” system that has locked up tens of millions of Americans for smoking or selling marijuana while giving the Drug Lords—who have killed millions—only a fine and no jail time. In addition, besides “Big Pharma” doling out billions to politicians in the name of campaign contributions, many government agencies are nothing more than corporate fronts. Indeed, the former head of the Food and Drug Administration during the Trump administration, Scott Gotleib, is now on the board of directors of Pfizer, the mega drug company that has made (and will continue to make) billions from dealing the COVID drug.