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Pharmaceutical Industry in Trouble as Lawyer Wage Lawsuits for Opioid Crisis


Mike Moore is the lawyer from Mississippi who tackled Big Tobacco in court 20 years ago, and, won. Now, he’s coming after the pharmaceutical companies that triggered the opioid crisis in United States years ago through their excessive marketing of the painkiller OxyContin in 1996.

Moore’s Fight

Two decades later, the country has a huge drug addiction crisis on hand – one that kills almost 115 people every day from opioid overdose

20 years after winning a huge case against an intimidating tobacco company, Mike Moore is now going after another big opponent: Big Pharma. The Mississippi attorney general believes that the pharmaceutical companies should be held responsible for the opioid crisis and misleading the public into believing that it was a safe, non-addictive drug.

Moore is accustomed to filing – and winning – big lawsuits. In the late 1990’s, he launched a legal battle against 13 tobacco companies which turned into one of the biggest settlement of $246 billion from 50 different states. It was one of the most historic cases in the public health sector, backed by a number of states and powerful law firms. In the end, it was a victory that thousands around the country celebrated. Moore calls it the ‘most important public health achievement in history’.

Gathering Support

Twenty years later, he is hoping that the history will repeat itself and the lessons he learned from the lawsuit against the tobacco industry will come in handy in taking down the pharmaceutical industry which is responsible for creating one of the worst drug addiction crises in the country.

Moore says that he is working on the new lawsuit every day because he believes that his efforts can save the lives of the people who are affected by the opioid epidemic. The attorney general, who is now 66 years old, revealed that he was younger, he wanted to become a priest, but he eventually found himself on the path of justice, wanting to make others’ voices heard.

Nowadays, the 66-year-old spends most of his time travelling around the country for meetings with officials, hoping that he can build another coalition of power politicians and elite attorneys, just like he did 20 years ago when he filed lawsuits against the tobacco industry

Until now, he has managed to get the support of 23 attorney generals and is hoping that he can also get the support of the US President Donald Trump who admitted in 2017 that the nation is in a severe opioid crisis which needs to be dealt with urgently. In his statement, Moore requested the President to play a role in this national emergency and urged him to call an urgent meeting to find a solution for the deadly problem.

The Real Culprit Behind the Crisis

Another lawyer, Chip Robertson, Missouri Supreme Court’s former chief justice, said that he had taken up the same battle as Moore years ago but eventually gave up claiming that there was no victory in sight. But Robertson says that if anyone can bring the pharmaceutical industry down to its knees, it’s Moore. The former chief justice, who was also on Moore’s coalition 20 years ago during his fight against the tobacco companies, has joined his team once again to take on Big Pharma.

The opioid addiction crisis which started from prescription drugs in the 1990’s is now claiming hundreds of lives every day, with 75 per cent of the addicts admitting that they began using the substance as a painkiller prescribed by their doctor.

According to Moore, the ‘evil’ pharmaceutical industry is doing more harm than good to the general public. Many of the companies, including Big Pharma, openly lied about the addictive nature of the drug and used excessive marketing to promote its use

In 1998, the maker of OxyContin painkiller, created an advertisement claiming that less than one per cent of the patients who were prescribed the painkiller ended up being addicted to it.

Until now, 10 states, including Mississippi have filed lawsuits against the pharmaceutical companies and it won’t be long before Moore brings them down to their knees just like he did 20 years ago. ‘I am going to win this fight,” he said, “I will keep pushing until they give up.”

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