Queens Anne’s County Commissioner James Moran penned an op-ed on the impacts the opioid crisis has inflicted on the county, the role drug companies played contributing to the crisis, and the steps he will take along with his fellow commissioners to ensure the drug companies are held accountable in court.
I doubt that there are many of us that have not been affected by this epidemic or know someone close to us that has. As you will see from the signs that I have helped the Drug Free Coalition and the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff Department erect, we had over 50 overdoses resulting in five (5) fatalities from opioids in Queen Anne’s County in 2017 alone. And this doesn’t include our residents that have OD’d in other counties so our numbers could be much higher.
The drug companies and the drug distributors recognized this potential and flooded physicians with opioid marketing ploys that falsely promised the following:
- Millions suffer from chronic pain, and it’s undertreated;
- Opioids are convenient and effective;
- Addiction to opioids is very rare;
- Don’t give into “opiophobia”;
- Tapering is easy;
- Effective for chronic pain.
Their marketing was tragically successful. In 1996 when Purdue Pharma introduced OxyContin until 2016, accidental overdoses from opioids increased from 300,000 per year to over 1.7 million resulting in 64,000 deaths in 2016 alone. Additionally, since 2000 over half a million Americans have died from opioid overdoses.
Commissioner Moran ended his post by committing to take the fight against the drug manufacturers to court and working with his fellow commissioners to find the right legal team to handle the suit on a contingency basis.
For more information read the full piece written by Commissioner James Moran.