Nearly 48,000 people died from opioid overdoses in 2017 alone. That accounts for approximately 68% of all deaths due to overdose. A new study published in the JAMA Network Open directly links opioid marketing to the potential increase in prescription opioid deaths. The more money that was spent to market opioids to doctors, the more doctors prescribed them, and the more opioid overdoses occurred on a county by county basis.

According to the study, for each three additional payments made to doctors per 100,000 people in a county, the opioid overdose deaths rose by 18%. Pharmaceutical companies spent almost $40 million from August 1, 2013 through 2015 marketing to 67,500 United States doctors. Opioid marketing took various forms, although the study found that the practice of having small group dinner-talks seemed to have the biggest influence. The study also suggested that lawmakers should consider placing limits on the drug industry’s marketing “as part of a robust, evidence-based response to the opioid overdose epidemic.”

Opioid Litigation

Opioid marketing by pharmaceutical companies having negligently fueled the national opioid epidemic is alleged in the more than 1,500 civil lawsuits around the country. U.S. District Judge Dan Polster, who is overseeing hundreds of the cases, has already scheduled the first trials. Terrell Hogan is involved in this litigation. Opioids we have investigated for these claims include: Oxycodone and OxyContin.

If you or a loved one in Florida became addicted to or damaged by prescribed opioids or died from an opioid overdose, consider contacting attorney Leslie A. Goller at (904) 722-2228 for a free consultation.