|When Your Mother is an Addict: California Counties’ Pharmaceutical Lawsuit
By: Cindy Wendland
It used to be a great job to be a pharmaceutical rep. You worked hard but schmoozed with doctors, traveled to great places for training, won trips, made great money. All that has changed as products came off patent and generics captured market share and profits in addition to other factors. Pharmaceutical companies merged, and many reps lost their jobs. Now some of those pharma companies are facing another challenge — California is suing them for getting our elderly parents and others addicted to drugs.
Times have changed. We still caution our children about the risk of drugs and heroin is a major problem for our high schoolers, but now we also have to worry about our parents becoming hooked on pain medication. If you haven’t experienced health problems of a parent, it can be heartbreaking. As our beloved parents age, we don’t want to see them in pain, but the remedies given to them are not good solutions. In fact, they create larger problems.
According to the language of the lawsuit, the state of California alleges “the drug companies have reaped blockbuster profits by manipulating doctors into believing the benefits of narcotic painkillers outweighed the risks, despite ‘a wealth of scientific evidence to the contrary.’” The drug companies named are: Actavis, Endo Health Solutions Inc., Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Purdue Pharma, and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries' Cephalon Inc.
The big issue is that these companies continue to fraudulently promote narcotic painkillers. California is suffering disproportionately from this problem, so it makes sense for them to lead the charge. When did we lose the balance of properly managing patients’ pain and trying to increase profits? Maybe there was never a balance, and now some companies will pay for it.
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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