On October 17, 2019, Filter published an article titled “Why Opioid Pharma Hatred Is Overblown and Harmful,” which featured an interview with DCBA Managing partner Michael C. Barnes. The article’s author, Alison Knopf, shed light on the nuances of the overdose crisis that are often overlooked in mainstream media narratives, with particular focus on the vilification of the pharmaceutical industry and the harm caused to patients with pain.
In the article, Barnes discussed the skewed media coverage of opioid-related litigation and pointed out that people may find it less difficult to lay blame solely on pharmaceutical companies for tragic overdoses, which are actually caused by a confluence of factors.
Barnes explained how the use of public nuisance, the legal strategy being used to fight opioid companies in court, may set off a slippery slope for cases involving the makers of other drugs and products that can be abused. Barnes emphasized that the connection between the drug companies’ activity and the overdose crisis is far more complex than the public tends to acknowledge, and using this legal strategy fails to adequately acknowledge the role of actors like pharmacists, prescribers, drug diverters, and patients.
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