Throughout the past decade, the country has been battling a raging epidemic and public health crisis: opioid addiction. In 2021, over 80,000 people died from opioid overdoses. Pennsylvania has one of the highest rates of opioid overdose deaths in the country. The crisis in Pennsylvania is so severe that it is decreasing the life expectancy in the commonwealth.
Corrupt pharmaceutical companies, like Purdue Pharma and Insys Therapeutics that prioritize profits over patient care and safety, have exasperated the opioid epidemic. The extensive fraud of these two companies was recently highlighted in Hulu’s “Dopesick” and HBO’s “The Crime of the Century.” Through this column, we examine the recent developments in civil and criminal opioid litigation, in an increased effort to hold wrongdoers, at every level, responsible.