Pharmaceutical companies make a lot of money. They do a lot of research and they make a lot of medicines that people really need to help them manage and survive medical conditions. The pharmaceutical companies need to take accountability for some of the methods that they use to get people to use these medicines. Specifically, regarding the opioids that Janssen manufacturers, it seems that they targeted elderly people to boost their sales on specific opioid medications.
The pharmaceutical companies need to be held accountable for their part in the opioid crisis. There are many people that are addicted to opioids and many people that die every year as a result of an overdose. The pharmaceutical companies, because they make these drugs and push these drugs in doctor’s offices and hospitals need to suffer the consequences as well as they have been enjoying the positive effects of selling these medications.
in New Jersey, the home of Janssen and its parent company Johnson & Johnson, the attorney general has taken the steps to actually sue the pharmaceutical company. He said that the pharmaceutical company has targeted elderly patients and has downplayed all the risks and negative effects of taking an opioid. Additionally, Janssen marketed their opioid-based drugs as safer than the competition’s medications. They used deceptive practices to encourage doctors and hospitals to prescribe their product.
The Attorney General has filed suit to try to protect the people of the state of New Jersey but trying to expose the problems with Janssen’s practices. He wanted to make sure that people knew and understood what was going on. It was important to let me know the facts, so they can make informed decisions.
The last thing drug companies should be doing is contributing to the opioid crisis in the United States. So many people are prescribed opioids without being given all the pertinent information, including the increased chance of addiction. People did not realize how easy it is to become addicted and face the challenges of dealing with possibly getting treatment to get off the medication.
The Attorney General has tried to hold Janssen accountable by filing charges of a violation of New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act, the False Claims Act, and the common-law public nuisance. Because the statute of limitations expired for any criminal charges, those civil charges were the only ones that could be filed. Winning under these civil charges means that the state is trying to recoup some of the money it has been forced to expend because of the medications and their terrible consequences. The state would be able to ask for penalties and damages.
Winning cases against pharmaceutical companies, and not just in New Jersey, can provide funding for programs to help those that are addicted. Some of these people have lost everything in their lives because of the addiction, including their homes and jobs. Then, they end up on public assistance, and possibly reliant on Medicaid. This means that the state is required to dole out money for these programs. The price of these programs has grown significantly.
Using court settlements to develop programs to help and educate people is critical to address the opioid crisis and reduce the number of people dying every year due to addiction and overdose. As prescription opioids became more popular and easy to get, street drugs, like heroine, have been mixed with it and injected. The combination of some of these drugs is lethal. But, when a person gets addicted, sometimes they go over the edge.
It is critical to educate people about the high chance of addiction when using drugs like the ones Janssen was pushing. If people think that they are safe and they do not have to worry about any consequences of using them, they will not be as careful as they should be. Patients, especially the elderly, are naïve to how some medications work. Drug companies need to make sure that doctors and hospitals understand the risks, instead of just incentivizing the prescription of the newest and most recent drugs on the market.
Taking these drug companies to court, in both civil and criminal charges might be the only way to get their attention. When you affect the company’s bottom line, sometimes you can get their attention and they will be willing to be more proactive. Pharmaceutical companies need to know that they are being watched and that the public’s safety is paramount. By states and others taking action, they can force the drug companies to be more proactive.
The health and well-being of the public, especially the elderly, should be the number one priority for doctors, hospitals, drug companies, law enforcement, and the political arena. Without people like the Attorney General of New Jersey taking action, people will die, and people will fall into the hole of addiction. There need to be more people willing to take a stand and do something about the lackadaisical attitude that pharmaceutical companies and the doctors they are targeting have regarding addiction. There needs to be more oversight, especially when these kinds of drugs are going through FDA approval. When these steps are taken, we will all be safer, healthier, and more educated.