Vioxx is a painkiller. Selling painkillers is., an area of pharmaceuticals that brings in billions of dollars a year for Big Pharma. Owning the rights to the patents has made one family in particular extremely wealthy. Some people in Kentucky refer to one particular pain killer as Hillbilly Heroine, not a very amusing description. Others say it is nothing more than "designer heroin".
And so when Merck has to pay $830 million to make the plaintiffs go away, I for one am not sad. After all without the right to sue Big Pharma how would their behavior be constrained from turning more of us into addicts or being used as guinea pigs?
On December 12, 1995, the Food and Drug Administration approved the opioid analgesic OxyContin. It hit the market in 1996. In its first year, OxyContin accounted for $45 million in sales for its manufacturer, Stamford, Connecticut-based pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma. By 2000 that number would balloon to $1.1 billion, an increase of well over 2,000 percent in a span of just four years. Ten years later, the profits would inflate still further, to $3.1 billion. By then the potent opioid accounted for about 30 percent of the painkiller market. What's more, Purdue Pharma's patent for the original OxyContin formula didn't expire until 2013. This meant that a single private, family-owned pharmaceutical company with non-descript headquarters in the Northeast controlled nearly a third of the entire United States market for pain pills. This article by The Week, Mike Mariani and Pacific*Standard.
If you know of someone who has an issue with someone driving under the influence of pain killers and who caused an accident call us for assistance in collecting from those responsible. Wrongful death cases can be caused by drivers taking prescription drugs. After all, "intoxication" is caused not just by alcohol.