As the opioid trials kick off, one might wonder what the impact on chronic pain patient will be.
The opening media coverage does not portend good things.
As CNBC reported: “A trial that kicked off in Norman, Oklahoma, on Tuesday will provide an unprecedented examination of how the country spiraled into a devastating opioid epidemic — and could indicate to what degree drug companies accused of fueling the crisis will be held responsible in hundreds of other lawsuits still pending across the country.”
As Politico reported: “The Oklahoma trial, which is being broadcast online, is expected to last for much of the summer, drawing renewed attention to a health crisis that is still claiming 130 U.S. lives a day. The testimony will focus on how much manufacturers of highly addictive painkillers are to blame for getting patients hooked on opioids through misleading medical claims and aggressive marketing practices.”
The Oklahoma case against Johnson and Johnson comes after the state has negotiated settlements with Purdue for $270-million and Teva, the Israeli generic manufacturers, for $85 million which left J&J as the only defendant in the nonjury trial before Cleveland District Judge Thad Balkman.
J&J denies wrongdoing, arguing that its marketing efforts were proper and that the state cannot prove it caused the opioid epidemic given the role doctors, patients, pharmacists and drug dealers played. It also indicated it is open to a negotiated settlement.
On the NBC News Nightly News on Tuesday, the coverage of the Oklahoma trial led to an assertion by the reporter that a trial in Ohio—where 18 separate lawsuits are being melded into one action—could mean billions in damages.
The reporting, as you’ve read, still is concentrating on opioid overdose and abuse.
The chronic pain angle—and what good opioids may be doing for the chronically ill- goes, woefully, unreported.
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