The number of accidental deaths related to opioids and the number of people addicted to them have been on the rise. Some believe such accidental deaths are driven by the proliferation of opioid prescriptions. According to The Economist, between 1991 and 2011, opioid prescriptions supplied by retail pharmacies increased from 76 million to 219 million – a 5.4% CAGR. Several state attorneys general believe drug makers have, in certain instances, fraudulently misrepresented the serious side effects of opioid use.

The opioid crisis has drawn the attention of everyone from President Trump to state attorneys general:

When President Trump took office, the opioid crisis was devastating communities across America. Nearly 64,000 Americans died from a drug overdose in 2016 alone. Opioid overdoses accounted for more than 42,000 of these deaths, more than any previous year on record.

In October 2017, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. Ever since, the Trump Administration has applied an all-of-Government approach to the epidemic, taking an extraordinary range of actions that reflect the President’s commitment to stopping the crisis in its tracks.

Opioid manufacturers and distributors face a growing number of lawsuits pursuant to opioids, in addition to probes from attorneys general across the country. The popular narrative is that the opioid investigations could lead to tobacco-sized settlements. However, a judge dismissed another opioid lawsuit. Read more:

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