Bucks County has joined the legal chorus of municipalities suing opioid manufacturers and distributors – an effort, they say, to curtail the amount of addictive medications flooding the market and destroying lives.
Last year, in Bucks, there were 232 deaths attributed to drug overdoses—an 89 percent increase over the previous two years, figures cited in a news conference, Tuesday.
In their complaint against the drug manufacturers, etc., county representatives, commissioners and the district attorney said the opioid epidemic has “strapped” the county with increased costs for law enforcement, prison space, added employees.
The lawsuits filed by the county and Bensalem in Bucks are seeking damages from the manufacturers, they claim duped everyone about the addictive nature of pain killers. Pain medication gives patients suffering with terminal illness, relief and some time without pain. But who knew how addictive these pain killers were? Everyone.
However, do we want to save lives or place blame on Big Pharma, and collect damages? Or, do we want to eliminate pain killers from the market? What do we want ?
My guess, at this point, would be money – millions of dollars for the municipalities and millions for the lawyers – and then what? The lawsuits are pointing out a crisis of great proportion and oine we have been overwhelmed by to some degree.
The complaint seeks to punish, but will result in a windfall of money should the complaintants (good guys) win. Will it stop drug traffic, drug addiction, drug deaths? Not likely.
The suit filed in Bucks County mimics the legal action against the tobacco companies for health issues and cancer deaths. You may recall major money was collected by lawyers and a few survivors, yet, people still are “killing” themselves with cigarettes.
Addicts will continue to poison themselves with illegal drugs, while terminally ill patients will seek and be given relief from their pain by some of these same drugs. Legal attacks on manufacturers of things that could kill people will not eliminate an individual’s personal choice to do harm to his/her body, by consuming illegal drugs, including alcohol.
Money and more lawsuits will not stem the tide of self destruction.