by William Stuart
The District Attorney of Orange County and the Office of Santa Clara County Counsel have filed suit against pharmaceutical manufacturers that produce pain medications. The complaint specifies violations of California false advertising law, unfair competition, and public nuisance for which they are seeking restitution and civil penalties. The volume of this complaint is quite alarming and should give pain providers a moment of pause to understand.
My intent is to share some information regarding this lawsuit. However, I strongly encourage you to access this information on the Internet and comprehend it. It is our understanding that the City of Chicago has also filed a similar suit, and the wording in all three lawsuits suits appears to be identical. Although the suits are aimed at the pharmaceutical manufacturers, I am concerned for all pain providers.
Popular media is dubbing the joint lawsuits “Big Pain” by likening it to the Big Tobacco lawsuits. Even John Stewart has dived into the fray with his comedic editorial.
From an elevated standpoint, this suit appears to a financial war between payers and industry. Pain providers may incur additional exposure risk as this suit moves forward.