The United States is suffering from a prescription opioid epidemic, the likes of which has never been seen before. In the late 1980s, when I was in medical school, I was correctly taught that opioids were addictive and dangerous pain relieving medications which should be used in very limited situations. I was taught that opiate pain relievers were only to be used for short-term treatment of severe acute pain like that experienced immediately following surgery or for long-term palliative (end-of-life) care in cancer patients. My respected medical school professors and fellow students did not question these ethical and wise standards.
Many people wrongly believe that those who suffer from opiate abuse and die from opiate overdoses are heroin addicts and abusers of other illegal street drugs. However, the truth is that the majority of opiate abusers are abusing prescription opiates. The prescription opiates causing the physical, economic, and social devastation are made by large scale pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributed by billion-dollar wholesalers, prescribed by licensed healthcare providers, and sold by pharmacies. The only true link to heroin and the current opiate epidemic is that most of today’s heroin users abused prescription opiates before turning to heroin.
Fransen & Molinaro, LLP will represent California counties and cities against opiate manufacturers and distributors and sue them to recover the money spent by these governmental entities fighting the opioid epidemic with its hundreds of millions of dollars in associated medical, criminal, and societal costs.