Opioids and painkillers are one of the most frequently prescribed medications in the United States. Sadly, opioids, which include the illegal drug heroin, are also responsible for the opioid epidemic, which kills more than 40,000 Americans each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Opioids are dangerous and addictive drugs that can cause addiction, overdose, or death when misused or abused, which is why pharmaceutical manufacturers producing opioids drugs and doctors prescribing opioids are held to the highest standard of care under federal and state law,” explains our Pittsburgh opioid drug injury attorney at Shenderovich, Shenderovich & Fishman.
Many patients are unable to cope with severe physical pain, especially when diagnosed with a chronic medical condition or recovering from injury. That’s why these patients rely heavily on opioids to help them alleviate the unbearable pain.
When receiving an opioid prescription from your physician, you trust your doctor that he or she knows for a fact that this opioid drug, despite its long list of side effects, will benefit you. Unfortunately, many doctors are negligent in prescribing opioids, which may expose them to a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The same can be said about pharmaceutical manufacturers, which have a duty to produce safe opioids and provide clear instructions and warnings about its use and side effects. When a drug manufacturer is negligent, and its negligence causes a patient’s injury, the injured patient may be entitled to compensation under product liability theory.
“Unfortunately, in many cases, opioids do more harm than good, which is why the U.S. is grappling with one of the worst-ever drug crises in history,” says our experienced opioid drug injury attorney in Pittsburgh. “Many opioid drugs, when abused or misused, lead to increased risk of addiction and overdose, but most drug companies fail to disclose the risk of addiction associated with taking opioids.”
Fact: An estimated more than 2 million Americans suffer from substance abuse disorders due to opioid drugs.
Opioids is a class of drugs that includes pain-reducing medications such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine, among many others. When taking properly and responsibly, these opioids help treat conditions and reduce pain. When abused or misused, opioid drugs carry potentially serious risks, including the risk of addiction that leads to serious health complications.
Doctors and pharmacists in the U.S. routinely prescribe and sell opioids to help patients treat both acute and chronic pain. As many side effects of opioids have grabbed national attention in recent years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has imposed strict guidelines to regulate the approval and sale of opioid drugs in our country.
Many drug companies producing opioid medications fail to ensure that their drugs are safe and that the benefits provided to patients outweigh the potentially serious risks. In fact, drug companies can also be held liable for opioid drug injuries when these injuries are caused by their failure to warn of side effects and the risk of addiction.
Our Pittsburgh opioid addiction lawyer at Shenderovich, Shenderovich & Fishman says that you may still be able to file a product liability lawsuit against a drug company for selling a dangerous opioid drug even if the FDA revoked the approval of the drug that caused your injury.
Speak to our product liability attorneys to discuss your particular case and determine liability. In some cases, the plaintiff may have a right to bring a lawsuit against both the drug manufacturer that produced the opioid and the doctor(s) who prescribed the medication. Call our offices at 888-988-9467 for a free case evaluation.