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The idea of a monolithic pharmaceutical industry with dangerous and deceptive advertising and marketing practices is also sorely inaccurate. (Photo: Shutterstock)

States and municipalities have brought over 200 lawsuits against opioid distributors and manufacturers in the United States, in response to the Opioid Epidemic. Using civil suits to solve this public health problem is not a proper function of the justice system. Opportunistic litigation diverts attention from the need for properly targeted public policy solutions.

The opioid litigation narrative in brief: Big Pharma overstated the benefits of opioids and downplayed their addiction properties, leading patients to overconsume their prescribed medication, becoming addicted. Complaints generally allege opioids are “over supplied” and “over prescribed,” ignoring the benefits of prescriptions opioids for patients in chronic pain, and assuming unproven causation.

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