The United States is suffering from a prescription opioid epidemic, the likes of which has never been seen before. In the late 1980s, when I was in medical school, I was correctly taught that opioids were addictive and dangerous pain relieving medications which should be used in very limited situations. I was taught that opiate pain relievers were only to be used for short-term treatment of severe acute pain like that experienced immediately following surgery or for long-term palliative (end-of-life) care in cancer patients. My respected medical school professors and fellow students did not question these ethical and wise standards. Recognizing the huge profits that can be made from these addictive substances, the opioid manufacturers and distributors have systematically eroded such established and respected views and created a demand for opiates from patients and their physicians.

Many people wrongly believe that those who suffer from opiate abuse and die from opiate overdoses are heroin addicts and abusers of other illegal street drugs. Those beliefs may have been true decades ago, but currently the majority of opiate abusers are abusing prescription opiates. The prescription opiates causing the physical, economic, and social devastation are made by largescale pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributed by billion-dollar wholesalers, prescribed by licensed healthcare providers, and sold by pharmacies. The only true link to heroin and the current opiate epidemic is that most of today’s heroin users abused prescription opiates before turning to heroin to feed their addiction.

Civil lawsuits whereby an insurer sues the manufacturers and distributors of opioids can provide a means of recovery for the money spent fighting the opioid epidemic. If you are a California insurance company or healthcare organization and would like more information about recovering money from opioid manufacturers and distributors, call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. for a free consultation. Paul is available to meet with you, speak at your meetings and conferences, answer questions, and explain what kinds of recovery may be available. Potential clients outside of California may also contact Paul for a referral. Paul can explain how insurance companies and healthcare organizations can retain private attorneys to file a contingent suit. Successful companies care for their customers and their stockholders. Getting money back from those responsible for its loss is part of that goal.

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