Courts to Decide: Are Pharm Companies Misrepresenting Opiates As “Safe”?

On Tuesday, October 6, 2015, The Suffolk County, New York unanimously voted to sue drug manufacturers for what they call misrepresentation by pharmaceutical companies that the powerful opiates they prescribe are “safe and non-addictive,” according to an article in Newsday.   The county joins the growing ranks of public officials working to hold drug manufacturers accountable for a growing epidemic of opiate drug addiction in America. The legislatures say that the 90% upswing in heroin-related deaths from the years 2000 to 2012 is part of an epidemic of opiate abuse that originates with prescription drug addiction. Legislative representative Rob Calarco, from Patchogue, NY sponsored the bill. Calerco said that drug manufacturers have "misrepresented" to doctors that opioid drugs are safe to treat chronic pain – as well as non-addictive. Legislator William Spencer, from Centerport, is a physician who is president of the Suffolk Medical Society. He supports the lawsuit and said manufacturers have pressured doctors to recommend the drugs to patients. "We were literally told that these (drugs) were…

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In Vermont, Addiction Increases Child Abuse, Neglect Cases

Like many states across the US, Vermont is battling an increase in opiate addiction that is wreaking havoc in families in communities across the state, and research has shown that it comes at a high price for children. According to VTDigger, Vermont courts have seen a 62% increase in the number of cases of childhood abuse and neglect, and the cases are on the rise as more people in the state fall victim to the disease of addiction. Opiate addiction is a “big piece of the neglect problem and a big concern for Vermont,” Traci Sawyers, an early childhood health expert at nonprofit Building Bright Futures, told VTDigger. Even more alarming: Up to 70% cases considered by the Department for Children and Families (DCF) that involved children below the age of 3 were tied to opiate abuse in the immediate family, according to DCF’s 2014 Child Protection Report. The uptick is an alarming trend that has been amplified in the past several years. In 2002, there were only 12 babies…

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