What if medicines that were supposed to make you better actually started a new problem all on their own? You see, doctors often prescribe painkillers to patients who come in with pain caused by things such as injury and illness. Painkillers are not a permanent solution but meant to alleviate discomfort.
But what happens when people don’t stop taking the medication because they are now addicted to it? Who is to blame for this problem?
Recently, a judge answered this question with his verdict on how much a pharmaceutical company is considered responsible for addictions to painkillers, specifically opioids. The state of Oklahoma sued pharmaceutical company Johnson and Johnson for compromising the health of residents with bad practices in medicine. The judge decided in favor of the state, ruling that Johnson and Johnson must pay $572 million to Oklahoma for focusing more on selling painkillers than warning people of problems such as addiction.
This ruling is considered a victory as states across the country deal with people’s addiction to pain medication without realizing the side effects. However, even with this win, some critics say that the company actually got away too easy. What did Johnson and Johnson have to say? The company says they didn’t start the crisis of addiction and that they are doing their best to prevent patients from getting addicted to their medications.
Do you think companies are responsible for people’s addictions to their products? What should companies do to prevent addiction?