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Press Release

Drugwatch Report Shows Big Pharma Created Opioid Crisis

Posted on: 15 Dec 17

Not long ago, prescription opioids were sparingly dispensed in the United States.

But somehow, the medical community’s aversion to addiction risks took a backseat, and pain treatment with opioids became the norm. Consequently, opioids flooded the U.S. and nearly 200,000 died.

Federal, state and local governments are grappling with the financial and human costs, families are left to pick up the pieces, and officials are looking for solutions. How did we get here?

A new report by Drugwatch called Big Pharma and The Opioid Crisis: Profiting from Pain answers that question. As veteran journalist Elaine Silvestrini reveals, the overwhelming evidence points to Big Pharma.

Among the findings at

  • Pharmaceutical companies funded continuing education courses or paid teachers of those courses who provided information that encouraged opioid prescribing.
  • Pharma made financial contributions to organizations that oversaw and rated health care facilities, creating incentives to dispense more opioids.
  • Drug manufacturers have been sued in civil court, penalized and faced criminal prosecutions for pushing opioids for off-label uses, some of which could be deadly to patients.
  • Pharma paid doctors who spread the misleading message that opioids were safe and predominantly non-addictive when given to pain patients, and that denying those drugs was cruel.

Drugwatch is a resource for consumers, journalists and researchers, providing original, comprehensive content as well as access to expert sources and patient stories. Contact Elaine Silvestrini at 407-545-2797 or Contact Drugwatch Managing Editor Kevin Connolly at 407-917-8670 or

For more information, contact

About Elaine Silvestrini

Elaine Silvestrini writes about dangerous drugs, medical devices and legal issues at Drugwatch. A former Tampa Tribune reporter, Silvestrini brings more than 20 years of experience covering courts, learning legal intricacies and developing investigative pieces.

About Drugwatch

Drugwatch is a consumer education and advocacy website based in Orlando. A trusted resource since 2009, Drugwatch provides information to patients on prescription drugs they take, medical devices they’re implanted with, the conditions and procedures they’ve endured, and the legal options that may be available to them. All content is from or reviewed by medical and legal experts to ensure accuracy and thoroughness.

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Last updated on: 15/12/2017

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