In 2019, more than 50,000 individuals in the U.S. died of an opioid-related overdose. However, the high prevalence of individuals misusing and addicted to painkillers, synthetic opioids, and similar substances suggests that it is a national crisis that affects social and economic welfare and human development. Unfortunately, there is increasing debate over who is to blame, with pharmaceutical companies and medical practitioners pointing fingers at each other for inappropriate practices. For example, in the news report hosted by Steve Inskeep and Brian Mann in Cleveland on NPR radio, October 5th 2021suggested that the trial against big pharmaceuticals had taken a different turn after documented records were unveiled from Facebook and several other sources. Although several documents and recorded conversations between executives revealed discrepancies in the medication distribution, the pharmaceutical companies denied noticing anything unusual.
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However, Brian Mann reports that a lawyer told the jury that “the organizations were so irresponsible with their opioid dispensing practices that drug dealers were able to use pharmacy outlets to build a black-market pipeline of prescription pills stretching from Florida to Ohio (Inskeep & Mann 2021). Despite substantial evidence being held against them, these organizations do everything to avoid litigation. Most of them prefer settling issues out of court as litigation costs them billions of dollars. On the other hand, some organizations openly deny responsibility for the issue. For example, Casper Stoffelmayr, Walgreens’ attorney, claimed that the insinuations did not match reality. Rather, he suggested, “the problem lies with medical practitioners who prescribe excess pills, drug-makers who lie about opioid’s safety, and government regulators who do not crack down on these irregularities soon enough” (Inskeep & Mann 2021). Opioid misuse is still an issue with a severe impact on society. Unfortunately, shareholders have never implemented an effective solution. As a result, it keeps destroying the lives of people all over the U.S.
Inskeep, S., & Mann B. (2021). U.S. pharmacies are under trial for their involvement in the opioid crisis. [Radio broadcast]. In Morning Edition. NPR Radio. Web.