Salt Lake County to sue 'Big Pharma' for 'irresponsible' distribution of opioids

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  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Nov. 21, 2017 8:37 a.m.

    This makes as much sense as suing gun manufacturers for making a gun that someone uses in a crime 10 years later. The Gun did not commit the crime. On the same note, The prescription drug manufacturer did not commit the crime here. The user made the decision to use the drug outside the prescribed use / dose / length of time. I guarantee that everyone who has a problem with addiction to painkillers lied, cheated, stold etc. to get the vast majority of the drugs, both legal and illegal, they use(d) to feed their addiction.
    Lawyers get rich on things like this. No one else wins.

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Nov. 21, 2017 8:25 a.m.

    The reason they are suing the drug manufacturers is because that is the only place they can get enough money to make it worthwhile. Lawyers will be the ones who make out like bandits on this.
    The most blame has to be on the users. The next most has to be on the doctors who prescribe the painkillers and I think most doctors do not do this. I recently had surgery and was given a painkiller prescription. It was enough to last about 7-14 days depending on whether I took maximum or minimum doses or somewhere in-between. I took them until I could get by with over the counter medicine. This is how patients are instructed to use painkillers. The Pain killers were great. But I stopped using them when I did not need them anymore.
    There may be a very small percentage of doctors who are irresponsible with their prescription writing but how in the he!! is this the drug manufacturers fault? People need to take responsible for their own actions and we need to reign in a legal system that does nothing more that "chase ambulances" looking for a way to sue big business and insurance companies. The real problem is our legal system and the laws they create and use to make billions each year.

  • mrjj69 bountiful, UT
    Nov. 16, 2017 1:01 a.m.

    So big government is suing the drug companies for manufacturing a LEGAL drug?? Once again bureaucracy trumps common sense....This leaves millions of senior citizens living with intolerable pain.. I have a unique suggestion.. How about punishing the CRIMINALS instead of law-abiding citizens....

  • glacierlake3 Provo, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 6:04 p.m.

    Are you accomplishing stopping the distribution of opiods on the street? When the opiods are cumming from doctors perscriptions. extra drugs are as easily to find as a doctor that does a quick prescription and says call me and I'll increase the prescription as you want. that is one doctor my family never saw again. Will this turn into a national referendum on the issue opiods?

  • Ann Blake Tracy Henderson, NV
    Nov. 14, 2017 5:14 p.m.

    I am in shock reading through the comments posted on this story! All of you need to turn off your televisions with Drug Company ads running every 5 seconds to brainwash you into believing they're doing so much good for society & go read court transcripts where you can read what these drugmakers say under oath! That is where you will learn of the deception involved in prescribing prescription drugs!

    There is so much corruption, so much lying & deceit behind the marketing & prescribing of these drugs that the largest pharmaceutical company in our country was found guilty of RICO, yes racketeering, several years ago which should have shut them down. Instead, they pulled some strings & suffered little to no consequences & are still in business!

    Deception about a product is certainly unethical but in pharmaceutical drugs it can be fatal! How quickly people forget all the drug nightmares we have suffered! Vioxx, Fen-phen, PCP, Ecstasy, etc. Nearly every illegal drug we have began as a prescription drug. In 1995 pharmacists put out a study warning that 200,000 people a year are dying by taking prescription drugs, as prescribed, not from overdoses or abuse!

  • 1hemlock Tooele, Utah
    Nov. 14, 2017 1:20 p.m.

    There are hundreds of thousands of folks that take and have taken opiods after multiple surgeries and have not moved onto heroin. Those in addiction made a bad choice to relieve their "pain". Yes 80% of heroin users used other opiods first and they chose to use those also.
    This approach does nothing to stop the root problem. Those that "try" heroin know that it is highly addictive (almost after the first try) but they still do it.
    No one wants an addict.
    This circumvents the recovery for addicts as they are taught in rehab that it is no one's "fault" they are an addict but themselves and that the first part of recovery is realizing that fact. Now it's someone else's fault.
    Grand standing at its most uninformed, ill conceived best.

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 1:06 p.m.

    Are we next going to sue the manufacturers of alcoholic beverages for the costs associated with drunk driving, lost productivity and domestic abuse?

    How about the people who sell alcoholic beverages? That may be complicated by the fact that the State of Utah sells alcoholic beverages, which is almost a stamp of approval. Kind of like what they are accusing the drug companies of.......

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 12:54 p.m.

    This whole thing by McAdams, et. al. is called "lazy litigation" The individual Dr's. would be MORE difficult to go after, therefore they go after big pharma.

    I'm no fan of big pharma, but ALL they did was create the medicine - DR.'s prescribed it.

    Kind of like when advocates of gun control try to go after the creators of the "tools".

    Likely this lawsuit will fail, just like those did.

    Politicing - NOTHING more!

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 11:22 a.m.

    So what are patients recovering from surgery and are in pain supposed to do? Take an aspirin?

    One of the reasons medicines are so expensive is that the manufacturers have to defend against politicians like our liberal Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams.

    And people wonder why Mia Love will win the 2018 election?

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 10:48 a.m.

    We have a system for managing this. Doctors write prescriptions as needed. Pharmacists dispense per the prescriptions, and include warning information with the medications. The patient is expected to use good judgement in using the medication, and in protecting it from getting into the hands of those who would misuse it.

    The DEA has been hammering doctors for some time, to the point that it is difficult for those in need of the meds to get them. Some doctors, and occasionally some pharmacists, participate in over-distribution. But the big problem is with patients who use poor judgement and/or distribute their surplus pills. Individual responsibility.

    Some of the problem is bypassing our domestic system, with drugs coming in from foreign countries, as evidenced by the recent arrest in Cottonwood Heights.

    Yes, many heroin users start with prescription narcotics, but those people make poor witnesses in court, so it makes this a challenging case.

    It all comes down to personal responsibility. If your loved one is an addict, they have chosen to be an addict. They need to make hard choices and big changes. Blaming the drug companies won't make them better.

  • JMHO Eagle Mountain, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 10:47 a.m.

    Again, government is going to drive the cost of medicine up and then blame "Big Pharma" for the increase in cost.
    Some on here have likened this to smoking and the lawsuits to tobacco. I don't see a direct parallel since smoking doesn't have a medicinal benefit. These medicines, properly prescribed and used, are very beneficial.
    As for the stats...they need to clearly delineate those who legally take it from those who take it illegally. Then the stats have more meaning. Although 80% of heroine users start with opioids, is it true that all of them started legally? If so the argument is strong. If not, it needs to be clearly studied.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 9:38 a.m.

    Once upon a time...government got so big and so expensive that the citizens had no more to give. The cost of government took 44% of GDP.

    But the bureaucrats still needed to be paid. And entitlements still needed to be paid. And benefits paid for and promised still needed to be delivered. And suppliers (nudge-nudge) had invoices.

    What's a politician to do? We need "new revenue streams."

    Soda tax. Charge them for the sugar they drink.

    Then there's the VW cash. That was slick. Catch them at something and they send checks to government.

    Let's try that with drug companies. What could possibly go wrong?

    And Ben's from the party that knows how to create taxes.

  • Den Den West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 9:35 a.m.

    Why not?
    Sue the companies that make the drug and forget the Dr's that prescribe them?

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 9:28 a.m.

    Mayor McAdams needs another campaign strategy in his run for congress. Without looking for causes or solutions, as a lawyer all he can think of is to sue someone. Utah deserves a more thoughtful approach to the problem.

  • SomeClarityPlease Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 9:23 a.m.

    Maybe instead the target should be "Big Politics" and "Big Government" and these specific politicians. Or maybe "Big Government" should sue "Big Food and Drug Administration" that approves these drugs to be marketed, prescribed, and sold.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 9:08 a.m.

    Another reason why I look forward to voting for Ben McAdams. He's the best prominent elected official in the state.

    I'm glad to see this story running today along with an article about "the untold story of how Utah doctors and Big Pharma helped drive the national opioid epidemic."

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 8:50 a.m.

    Utah's medical expert advocated the use of opioids and told us they were under-prescribed, Utah physicians repeatedly prescribed opioids in large numbers and Utahn's bought and sold opioids on the street. Suing Big Pharma is equivalent to suing automobile manufacturers because they make cars that go faster than the speed limit.

    Mayor McAdams is looking for photo ops and fails to recognize the primary fault in this issue.

  • dski HERRIMAN, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 7:57 a.m.

    What a waste of printing space! Big Pharma is like any other business except the numerous red tape they have to jump through to make it to the market. But, those red tapes are there for our protection and safety. Demands create supplies. Who demands the opioids? Who dispenses opioids negligently? Who uses the opioids irresponsibly? Now, go after them. You have a case! I had several orthopedic surgeries and those opioids came through for me during those painful times. Thank goodness Big Pharma made them available for me in my time of unbearable pains.

  • Pugman Tremonton, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 7:36 a.m.

    There ya go....sue the drug manufacturers because it would be totally against reality to hold someone accountable for what they put in their mouths. Sue, sue, sue, then sit back and wonder why our insurance premiums sky rocket. This nation and it's society has gone of the rails.

  • goodnight-goodluck Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 7:15 a.m.

    Well that ought to be going nowhere, what with President Trump nominating Big Pharma executive Alex Azar as Health and Human Services Secretary to replace Tom Price.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 7:00 a.m.

    Personally, I'm not in favor of suing anyone.

    If anyone should get sued, it should be the doctors that prescribe the medication.

    I guess Adams is apparently running for another office, eh?

    Our hard earned tax money can be better spent on treatment of those that want treatment. Not in paying lawyers for something that the county won't win.

    Another question, who is "Big Pharma" anyway.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 6:53 a.m.

    Not sure that suing big pharma over this is the answer. What about the providers who actually prescribed the drugs? What impact will this law suit have on how big pharma makes up for the damages in raising fees for other non-opioid drugs?

    Big pharma needs to be reined in for sure - but not just for marketing opioid drugs, they have gouged and ruined countless other lives by financially breaking people with what they charge for their various products.

    Put big pharma under a regulated system and then you can better manage their immoral behavior.

  • ERB Eagle Mountain, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 6:52 a.m.

    Next they need to sue the spoon industry because too many people are fat.

  • Egyptian origins Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 6:41 a.m.

    In the world of Drugs when you go after the Drug Lords, others merely step up to take their place. Just like removing Saddam Hussein resulted in replacements rising to power. N Korea still receives supplies because their trading businesses just keep changing their names, so they are not considered on the blacklist @ the boarders. This is what Big Pharma will do, simply change the name of opioids, that's what the TV ad drugs do after a lawsuit. In this case it's the Doctors who are writing prescriptions for opioids. We need to start by making it illegal for Doctors to prescribe any & all forms of opioid taking away their medical licenses for violations & punishing Hospitals that do not monitor their Doctors & detox centers are needed for victims. Then phase two is to stop manufacturing of opioids & thus further distribution to Hospitals & Pharmacies, which are to destroy or turn in remaining supplies & this will instantly result in Insurance Companies no longer approving opioids. This will result in an underground black market for opioids & their consequential mutations, but mainstream society will be protected if they don't seek them out & if victims are properly detoxed.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 6:01 a.m.

    Just one more in a long line of reasons to vote for Mia Love in 2018.

  • Curmedgeon Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 5:54 a.m.

    I don't see Big Pharm as the sole problem here. Where is the physician (aks the one who prescribed the opiod) responsibility in all of this? I see way too many physicians simply cater to the patient because the patient complains / throws a fit / etc.

  • Red Smith American Fork, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 5:49 a.m.

    Who's going to sue Ben McAdams for the "irresponsible distribution" of our taxes?

  • mufasta American Fork, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 5:28 a.m.

    I bet not one penny of any settlement they may receive will make it to those actually affected by opioid addiction.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Nov. 14, 2017 5:15 a.m.

    Tobacco got sued, but some lady sued after spilling coffee in her lap at some fast food joint, an won. The drug Staten drug that that what I would be concerned with.

  • Ann Blake Tracy Henderson, NV
    Nov. 14, 2017 2:43 a.m.

    Bravo! Long, long overdue!! Few families have escaped this drug nightmare! Utah has long been Pharma's laboratory as the Ritalin capitol, the Valium capitol, the Antidepressant capitol of the nation and I watched as patient after patient were led from antidepressants onto these highly addictive pain killers. I have a young relative in SL county who followed that same pattern after a car accident and has been dealing with one mind altering prescription drug after another since & is currently fighting an addiction to these opiods now.

    For "No One of Consequence" who made his statement before bothering to read the next sentence...80% of those on heroin became addicted to the opioids first. And then everyone knows they go to the heroin because it's cheaper then the opioids are. So they are the ones responsible for the addiction.

    In Rev 18:23 & 24 John warned there would be a great deception about pharmakeia (drugs from a pharmacy) which would flood the world in our day & would end in the deaths Prophets, Saints, & good men. That day has clearly arrived & I await with anticipation additional suits to be filed!

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 13, 2017 11:52 p.m.

    Instead of suing, require a warning written and verbal to be given with each opioid perscription.

  • mightymite , 00
    Nov. 13, 2017 11:46 p.m.

    Nothing more then grandstanding here for a congressional run. What a trifecta we it with Hughes. Biskupski and now MacAdams. I employ the good folks of the SL valley and whole of Utah to do a better job when casting your ballot. We are doing an extremely poor job when vetting and electing our leaders.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Nov. 13, 2017 11:05 p.m.

    Very good news. It reminds me a lot of the lawsuits against Big Tobacco that netted huge payouts for the states.

  • Scott1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 13, 2017 11:03 p.m.

    It should be interesting to see how this all pans out. I am not sure where I come down on all of this.

  • HalfManHalfAmazing Baltimore, MD
    Nov. 13, 2017 10:58 p.m.

    What good is it to sue the manufacturers? did they hide information of the addictive tendencies of opioids? if they are going for at what levels they cause addiction, that depends person to person and not even the person taking them can know. I am generally against lawsuits unless they are absolutely necessary. Will this lawsuit relieve financial pressure of treating the public? or are we just getting enough back to pay for the lawyers? or are we going to lose money and just tax more? will this solve anything? I doubt it.

  • Facts are friendly Sandy, UT
    Nov. 13, 2017 10:29 p.m.

    This is ridiculous.

    Opioids when used correctly are godsend to people. Total miscarriage of justice and blame.

    Nobody wants to take personal responsibility for anything.

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 13, 2017 10:16 p.m.

    "McAdams said 90 percent of people who were arrested in Operation Rio Grande and assessed for drug court in jail were heroin users."

    Who do we sue for that? Are we going after the cartels?

  • play by the rules South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 13, 2017 8:15 p.m.

    So tired of this guy's grandstanding. Can't wait until Mia sends him straight back to Salt Lake County where he can keep importing more homeless. MacAdams loves creating problems that only he can solve (wait - it was the Legislature who came in and cleaned the place up after the Dems turned Salt Lake into Santa Claus County).