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Taking A Stand Against Opioids: St. Clair Files Lawsuit Against Abbott Laboratories

Posted on: May 8th, 2017 by Romanucci & Blandin

It’s a sad story that most people are familiar with; an addiction to painkillers.  These powerful drugs meant to help people with intense pain are frequently abused and can even lead to use of other drugs such as heroin.  The Midwest has been hit hard by an opioid epidemic, and one county is finally taking a stand against this uphill battle.

St. Clair County in Southern Illinois has filed a lawsuit against Abbott Laboratories, as well as Purdue Pharma, claiming that both these drug manufacturers knew how dangerous their pills were but still relentlessly marketed and sold their products.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration shows that in St. Clair County in 2014 over 9 million oxycodone and hydrocodone pills were prescribed.  That works out to roughly 34 pills per resident which is more than 20 times the national average.  St. Clair’s State’s Attorney, Brenden Kelly, says that one of the main reasons they are losing this fight is because drug companies, like Abbott Laboratories, are aggressively marketing these pills and doctors feel an obligation to prescribe these medications to their patients.

The suit states that deceptive and unfair marketing has created a culture where addicts actively seek out physicians who will feed their addiction.  Kelly said, “People of all ages and all walks of life are dying of heroin overdoses, they’re dying of Fentanyl overdoses, and almost without exception, that path to lying on the floor with a medic trying to revive you…begins with the abuse of prescription opioids.”

Ultimately, St. Clair believes that Abbott Laboratories, Purdue Pharma, and other major drug companies have not only created users dependent on drugs but then continually feed their destructive habit.  They hope this lawsuit will help start the process of ending this pervasive and deadly addiction.

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