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.

Most opioid patients do not develop abuse disorders. Of 98 million opioid patients, only 1 to 2 percent are likely to become addicts in any given year. Most opioid abusers who overdose, moreover, were never given a prescription—this includes 78 percent of OxyContin abusers.

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