Another lawsuit has been filed against a group of pharma companies and distributors that claims their allegedly deceptive marketing of opioids has resulted in ER physicians being paid little to no compensation for providing opioid-related treatment.
Another proposed class action has been filed against a group of pharmaceutical companies and distributors after the parties’ allegedly deceptive marketing of opioids led to what the suit calls a “public health epidemic.” The lawsuit, filed by an emergency room physician, claims the plaintiff and other doctors have “lost millions of dollars each year” providing opioid-related emergency room health care services to patients who didn’t have insurance or otherwise couldn’t afford treatment. As a result, the case argues, proposed class members spent many hours treating patients who had suffered the effects of opioids “either for no compensation or for compensation substantially below market rates.”
The complaint goes into detail about how the pharmaceutical companies’ allegedly deceptive marketing practices led to opioids being widely prescribed for chronic pain instead of only for short-term treatment as they had been in the past. According to the lawsuit, the drug manufacturers aggressively marketed opioids to doctors and other healthcare professionals despite knowing the drugs were highly addictive and presented more risk than benefit when used long-term. The result, the case alleges, was a rise in opioid abuse and addiction that has been labeled an “urgent health crisis.”
The case also chastises the distributor defendants for allegedly looking the other way instead of upholding their duty to monitor the opioid supply chain and report suspicious orders to the authorities.
The defendants’ actions, the case alleges, “opened the floodgates of opioid use and abuse” and have landed an ever-increasing number of opioid patients in the emergency room. The cost of opioid-related medical services, the lawsuit continues, has been shouldered by physicians like the plaintiff who have provided treatment without commensurate compensation to patients who couldn’t afford it.
“In sum,” the complaint reads, “[the plaintiff] and the putative class that he seeks to represent have experienced economic costs directly related to the opioid epidemic, including substantial loss of income for having to provide emergency room medical services for either no compensation or payment substantially below market rates.”