Perhaps it's time for America's drug company executives to schedule a long conference call with America's tobacco company executives to have a little chat about liability.

Big Pharma's efforts to somehow put a lid on the brewing opioid controversy received a major blow in what was once a pharmaceuticals stronghold: Texas. Several (mostly rural) counties around the Lone Star state have already sued drug makers for not taking proper steps to limit the distribution of opioids within their jurisdictions. But now the topic has heated up.

What's causing the opioid uproar in Texas is an alignment of supposedly disparate actions. The state attorney general, finally reacting to increasing opioid-related deaths and suits by several counties, jumped in on a national investigation of opioid drug manufacturers.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.