An opioid epidemic appears to be looming in Mexico as pharmaceutical companies push addictive prescription drugs on the aging population to offset crackdowns on prescriptions in the United States and Canada.
With over 2 million Americans estimated to be dependent on opioids, overdose deaths from these highly addictive drugs are now occurring at an average of one every ten minutes in the United States. American states and municipalities are therefore fighting back by suing pharma companies for the loss of health and life they are causing. Similar legal action is underway in Canada, with a lawsuit recently filed against over 40 companies involved in the manufacture, distribution and wholesale of the drugs.
Anyone who doubts that the pharma industry is seeking to maximize its profiteering from the opioid epidemic need only look at the fact that the biopharmaceutical company Alkermes has been marketing its $1,000 a shot opioid addiction injection, Vivitrol, directly to judges. By presenting opioid addicts with the stark choice of either going to jail or joining an injection program, drug courts have helped annual sales of Vivitrol rise by almost 700 percent since 2011, reaching a total of $209 million in 2016.
By earning themselves billions of dollars from marketing heavily addictive narcotic painkillers and pretending they were safe for long-term use, drug companies have demonstrated that they are morally bankrupt and ruthlessly driven by profit. So while suing the pharma industry for the damage caused by opioids is an important step, our long-term goal has to be replacing synthetic drug-based medicine with a preventive system of healthcare based on scientifically proven natural approaches. For until this is achieved, human health will continue to be held to ransom by the pharmaceutical ‘business with disease’.