In recent weeks, hundreds of hospitals have joined cities and counties across the country in the fight against the opioid epidemic by filing suits against the highly addictive drug’s makers and distributors, in an effort to recoup the cost of treating uninsured opioid users for addiction. This comes on the heels of thousands of suits filed in state and federal court, aiming to hold Perdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, McKesson Corp. and others in the pharmaceutical industry responsible for the more than 400,000 opioid-related deaths that have occurred since 1999.
According to court documents, hospitals estimate treating opioid-related addiction costs an average of $107,000 per person, and the total costs to U.S. hospitals in just one year exceeded $15 billion.
“The expense of treating overdose and opioid-addicted patients has skyrocketed, straining the resources of hospitals throughout our state,” Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer of Singing River Health System in Mississippi, said in a statement.
The lead defendant in the suits, Purdue Pharma, has thus far not responded to requests for comment.
Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.