By: Shannon Persad
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Opioid Drug Maker Mallinckrodt Reaches $1.6 Billion Settlement
Over the last couple of years, many pharmaceutical companies have been under fire for their role in fueling the opioid crisis in the U.S.
A company called Mallinckrodt, based in the United Kingdom is known for supplying drugs with the main ingredient: oxycodone. Many other companies, such as Purdue Pharma, have also been accused of catapulting the opioid epidemic due to manufacturing oxycodone exponentially. As a result, many states have gone after these pharmaceutical companies to receive settlements for the damage they may have caused.
According to the Associated Press, “Under its agreement, Mallinckrodt is filing for bankruptcy. The plan calls for it to make payments for eight years after the company emerges from the protections. That route is similar to one OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma is taking to settle opioid claims against it.”
The Role of Pharmaceutical Companies in the Opioid Crisis
How did this happen?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA):
“In the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to prescription opioid pain relievers, and healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates. This subsequently led to widespread diversion and misuse of these medications before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive. Opioid overdose rates began to increase. In 2017, more than 47,000 Americans died as a result of an opioid overdose, including prescription opioids, heroin, and illicitly manufactured fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid. That same year, an estimated 1.7 million people in the United States suffered from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers, and 652,000 suffered from a heroin use disorder (not mutually exclusive).
After prescription opioids started to reduce on the market and became more regulated, people turned to heroin, and now fentanyl. This is called the three waves analysis, which is a theory for the increase in overdose opioid deaths in this U.S.
How to Get Help for Opioid Addiction
If you or someone you know is suffering from opioid addiction or substance abuse, contact ATSI at 1-(855)-498-2121 for a confidential consultation.