No Federal Limits To Marketing Opioids Gives Pharma Companies Free Rein

By Dr. John Rosa


The pharmaceutical companies that make opioids are given free rein to market their drugs wherever they please despite the fact that this country is experiencing a tragic opioid epidemic.

The reason I bring this up is that a new study has shown that the areas of our country hardest hit by the opioid epidemic are the exact regions where pharmaceutical companies marketed prescription opioids.

According to the study, “In one county, doctors received about 31 times the national average of direct marketing from pharmaceutical companies between 2013 and 2015, even as the opioid epidemic claimed lives in the same area.” In addition the study found that, “increases in marketing were associated with higher prescribing and a higher rate of overdoses from prescription opioids.” The new research was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s Network Open journal (Jama).

Addiction To Wealth And Power More Important Than Life

The addiction to wealth and power is allowed to proliferate despite the deadly and tragic results. This all-consuming addiction to greed is profoundly affecting the health of our country, yet it is allowed to continue without restraints.

It is painfully obvious that the desire for wealth and power supersedes the desire to preserve lives. To prove this, “the recent study found an association between pharmaceutical company marketing of opioids and higher rates of death from opioid overdoses one year later. Researchers examined more than $40m in drug company marketing, directed at 67,500 physicians across more than 2,200 counties nationally between August 2013 and December 2015.”

Meanwhile The Bodies Pile Up

Despite the gravity of the opioid addiction problem, there are no laws being cobbled together to prevent pharmaceutical companies from freely marketing their products. Unlike the tobacco and liquor industries, pharmaceutical companies remain untouched for the trail of death they leave behind in the wake of their marketing efforts.

If you’re not convinced, just take a look at the following statistics from the CDC, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the United States (US) Department of Health and Human Services which reveal the gravity of the problem.

1. In 2016, health care providers across the US wrote more than 214 million prescriptions for opioid pain medication—a rate of 66.5 prescriptions per 100 people.
2. As many as 1 in 5 people receive prescription opioids long-term for noncancer pain in primary care settings.
3. More than 11 million people abused prescription opioids in 2016.
4. Every day, more than 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments for misusing prescription opioids.
5. More than 40% of all US opioid overdose deaths in 2016 involved a prescription opioid.
6. Drug overdoses claimed the lives of nearly 64,000 Americans in 2016. Nearly two-thirds of these deaths (66%) involved a prescription or illicit opioid.
7. The CDC estimates the total economic burden of prescription opioid misuse in the US is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of health care, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.

If You Want Help

If you, or someone you love is dependent on or addicted to opioid drugs, please seek help before it’s too late. If you would like to learn more about the Opioid Crisis as it relates to awareness, prevention and treatment or schedule a corporate or organization seminar contact us at Here you will learn how to connect you, your company or organization with the leading experts on the crisis and how to help your community stay safe.