Opioids: Fixing the Problem, Not the Blame

  • by: Peter Pitts |
  • 01/11/2018
Speaking of opioids and lawsuits, something very interesting just happened in the MDL (Multi-District Litigation) National Prescription Opiate Litigation case (MDL No. 2804, Case No. 1:17-CV-2804) – Presiding United States District Judge Dan A. Polster  (United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio Eastern Division) made it clear to all parties that he intends to focus on fixing the problem, not the blame.

According to Judge Polster:

I don't think anyone in the country is interested in a whole lot of finger-pointing … People aren't interested in depositions, and discovery, and trials. People aren't interested in figuring out the answer to interesting legal questions like preemption and learned intermediary, or unraveling complicated conspiracy theories.

My objective is to do something meaningful to abate this crisis and to do it in 2018. … We've got all the lawyers. I can get the parties, and I can involve the states. So we'll have everyone who is in a position to do it. And with all of these smart people here and their clients, I'm confident we can do something to dramatically reduce the number of opioids that are being disseminated, manufactured, and distributed … and make sure that the pills that are manufactured and distributed go to the right people and no one else, and that there be an effective system in place to monitor the delivery and distribution, and if there's a problem, to immediately address it and to make sure that those pills are prescribed only when there's an appropriate diagnosis, and that we get some amount of money to the government agencies for treatment.

The full Transcript of Proceedings can be found here.

Stay tuned.

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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