Boston might sue drug companies for role in opioid crisis

Mayor Walsh said today he's looking at a possible lawsuit against companies that make and market narcotics. In a statement, he said:

I strongly believe that the pharmaceutical industry is the main offender and sustainer of the opioid crisis. Their distribution and marketing of narcotics is unforgivingly reckless, causing irreversible devastation to our families and significant damages to cities nationwide. In Boston, we are addressing the opioid crisis from every angle, from creating the first municipal recovery office to investing in more services and building a state-of-the-art recovery facility on Long Island. Now is the time to finally hold the pharmaceutical industry responsible.

Walsh said he is issuing a formal request for information to law firms and researchers who might want a piece of the action. He said the city has already spent several months "meeting with various law firms and collecting relevant information in preparation for potential litigation."

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If he thinks Big Pharma is to blame

By on

He's severely late to the party. Big Pharma has been blamed (rightfully so) for this issue for years now.

For the record, needles and users have been a somewhat common occurrence in the inner city since forever..

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So.....in other words.....

Walsh is trying to shake down the drug companies for money to combat the opioid crisis, which they'll end up giving because it will barely affect their bottom line. You know, the way those FDA fines are swamped by the profits on the drugs they push for off brand reasons?

Not a bad idea, but will he hold CVS accountable? Further local enforcement of doctors writing scripts?

And if he feel so litigious, let's see Walsh sue the manufacturers of the gun that killed the most kids in this town last year. See how far he gets with that.

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CVS?

CVS and the pharmacy companies aren't complicit in this - it is 100% on the drug manufacturers/marketers and corrupt doctors who write the scrips.

CVS can't and shouldn't be in charge or determining if someone is entitled to a prescription when it is presented by a customer. That's the same territory as saying a religious pharmacist shouldn't have to fill a birth control scrip.

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CVS

CVS and the pharmacy companies aren't complicit in this - it is 100% on the drug manufacturers/marketers and corrupt doctors who write the scrips.

Not legally complicit, perhaps, but most certainly complicit in every other regard.

CVS voluntarily stopped selling cigarettes because CVS did not like the ill health effects that sometimes came along with a legal product that made a lot of people relatively happy.

They chose not to be complicit. They have a conscience.

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Totally different

Selling cigarettes is a commercial decision.

Again, I don't want pharmacies to have the agency to determine if they want to sell a legally prescribable drug or not, either based on who I am or what the drug is. There are valid reasons to get pain relief meds after all.

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Apples and Oranges

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Opioids are useful tools for pain management. They help lots of people. Cigarettes kill, period.

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Opioids kill more

Cigarettes kill, period.

The average global age for lung cancer diagnosis is 70 and global life expectancy is 71.

I see cigarettes as shortening life a tiny bit possibly, but killing.... nope.

What is the average age for legal opioid death? 45?

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Sorry, but you just ran off the tracks

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I see cigarettes as shortening life a tiny bit possibly, but killing.... nope.

The World Health Organization says that tobacco kills over 7 million people per year, including 50% of it's users.

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs339/en/

The CDC reports that "from 2000 to 2015 more than half a million people died from drug overdoses. 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose."

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs339/en/

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Lung cancer is rare

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Heart disease is relatively common. Cigarettes are responsible for the lion's share of lung cancer, but they contribute far more to overall mortality and morbidity through heart disease.

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Also COPD

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Lung cancer is a bullet you might dodge. Every single smoker will develop COPD if they don't stop. It is a miserable death and it will happen to you unless you win the Lung Cancer Lottery instead.

It seems like smokers are all almost entirely ignorant of the risks they face. Why is that? Stupidity, or deliberate avoidance of a harsh truth?

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Average Age

The global average age of death from COPD is 76.2 years old.

Global life expectancy is 71.

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You are not an epidemiologist

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And every epidemiologist can see that.

It isn't producing statistics - it is understanding them in context and understanding how to use them that matters.

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Chemical addiction

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Yes they all know and they all seemingly can't do anything about because all those chemicals make you dependent. Does anyone know if quitting was as difficult back in the 50's or 60's? I recall reading that there wasn't as much added back then.

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Pharmaceutical companies

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Yes -- pharmaceutical companies have profited enormously from pushing both legal and illegal sales of opioids. It'll be a complicated case though, because there were several pathways -- including manipulating doctors, clinics and medical schools toward over-prescription and including knowingly and/or negligently sending drugs into illegal markets. But as complicated as it is, I think the can ultimately be a clear and compelling case implicating the pharmaceutical companies. The volume of profits and the devastating results will help to make the case.

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Umm...

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Why not doctors? Yes, pharma companies are producing and marketing the drugs, but doctors prescribe them.

In the legalized drug trade, punish the manufacturers AND the dealers.

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Sorry, not easily to

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Sorry, not easily to prosecute. I should've said easy to blame since they were deliberately misleading the public.

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This is Marty's way of

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This is Marty's way of pretending to do something about replacing the facilities on Long Island without really doing anything about replacing the facilities on Long Island.

When the case gets tossed the Mayor and BPDA will declare "IMPOSSIBLE TO REPLACE!111" and give the island away to some well heeled developer for pennies on the dollar.

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This is just as wrong as the

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This is just as wrong as the ex Police Chief in Gloucester publishing pharma management addresses and phone numbers.

I've been prescribed opiates after day surgery and guess what, I didn't get hooked. How many of us manage pain medication and don't go off the rails?

Some people NEED this pain relief.

This is lame and Walsh just needs to pin the blame on someone and it can't be the addict.

I understand this a horrible epidemic and I do have sympathy for addicts, but this is tiresome.

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There are people that I know

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There are people that I know of that get a monthly prescription and sell them. Maybe they aren’t hooked but the people buying them are. Yes getting 10 pills after day surgery might not harm you but that is not what we are talking about here. I know of a person getting Oxy’s because they have joint pain from being obese.

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And?

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This has nothing to do with you, and it won't prevent you from getting opioids. It's to hold pharma companies accountable for lying to doctors and the public about the addictive nature of their product.

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If the DEA has been stuck in

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If the DEA has been stuck in the same litigation for years with the big drug companies with nothing but frustration as results, what makes Baker thing he's going to get anywhere? You can't beat these companies. They're just too powerful. It's just not right.

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Forward thinker

What harm would it Do?
Sue them and let the chips fall.
If we get a bridge out of it even better.
Great job Mayor

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