DALLAS – On July 7, Baron & Budd announced the law firm is investigating potential lawsuits related to allegations that pharmaceutical distributors deliberately failed to monitor and report suspicious orders of opioids, potentially playing a central role in creating an opioid addiction epidemic throughout the U.S.

In 2015, more than 50,000 Americans died from drug related overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The CDC went on to detail that opioids were specifically involved in 33,091 overdose deaths in 2015, and opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999. By comparison, in 2015, the National Safety Council reported 37,757 traffic related fatalities.

Prescription opioid addiction is also closely tied to illegal drug use, a firm press release states.

According to a study published by the medical journal JAMA Psychiatry, approximately 75 percent of patients in treatment for heroin addiction started their opioid use with prescription medications such as OxyContin and Percocet.

“Every year, cities and states spend millions of dollars on extra law enforcement, healthcare, rehabilitation and education to combat the effects of opioid abuse,” said Burton LeBlanc, shareholder at Baron & Budd. “It’s a public nuisance created and enabled by big pharma, and taxpayers are footing the bill.”

Baron & Budd brings more than 20 years of experience representing public entity clients in complex litigation against pharmaceutical corporations.

Most recently, the firm obtained a $177 million settlement for seven states against GlaxoSmithKline in a lawsuit that alleged the company misrepresented the safety and efficacy of the diabetes drug Avandia by stating that the medication reduced adverse cardiac events despite medical evidence which suggested the drug actually increased cardiac events.

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