Iowa to Receive $25 Million in Legal Settlement – Here is Why
In recent years, we've heard a lot about drug abuse. Not 'street' drugs, or manufactured drugs, but rather legal drugs one could get from a pharmacy by doctor's prescription. These perfectly legal, prescription, drugs are known by their drug class: Opioids. Now, the state of Iowa is set to receive $25 million in a settlement with a drug manufacturer of opioids, according to Iowa's Attorney General Tom Miller.
This settlement is from a lawsuit filed back in 2019
With this settlement, Iowa becomes one of 15 states to reach a deal with Purdue Pharma. The total settlement is said to be $4.5 Billion. The multi-state lawsuit was brought against the pharmacy giant claiming that Purdue employees made errant claims about the popular pain drug OxyContin, saying the drug was safe and suitable for a wide range of patients.
Opioid abuse in Iowa remains a major public health issue
In Iowa, opioid abuse has become a major concern. According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, opioid use has more than tripled since 2005. While that study is from 2017, a more recent report says opioid-related deaths in Iowa increased by 35% in 2020. As far as Iowa's share in the multi-state lawsuit, a Radio Iowa report says the state will use the $25 million for opioid treatment prevention programs and recovery for people affected by opioids.
After the initial lawsuit, Purdue Pharma filed for bankruptcy. The company will end its operations by 2024. With COVID grabbing headlines in 2020, many Americans may not have been aware of the ongoing battle against drug manufacturers over their opioid claims. The Department of Health and Human Services says the pharmaceutical companies told the medical community back in the late 1990s that patients would not become addicted to opioid-based pain relievers. As a result, and healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates and a crisis began.
Trials against other opioid manufacturers and drug distributors are also underway.
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