Your Call: Should drug companies be held responsible for the opioid crisis?

Aug 2, 2017

142 Americans die of a drug overdose every day, according to the CDC. A White House commission is urging the Trump administration to declare a national emergency. A number of states, cities, and counties, including Ohio and Missouri, are suing pharmaceutical companies saying they caused the crisis with a campaign of fraud and deception. 

It's been a huge national story, but the key role that drug companies played in causing it – with aggressive marketing and an unwillingness to crack down on “pill mills” – gets remarkably little play. Should drug companies be held responsible for the suffering and social costs caused by this crisis? 


Sam Quinones, independent journalist, and author of Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic

Liz Essley Whyte, reporter for the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative journalism organization

Dr. Andrew Kolodny, co-director of Opioid Policy Research at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, and executive director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing

Web Resources: 

Sam Quinones: Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic

The Atlantic: Are Pharmaceutical Companies to Blame for the Opioid Epidemic?

Center for Public Integrity: Politics of pain: Drugmakers fought state opioid limits amid crisis


The New Yorker: Who Is Responsible for the Opioid Epidemic?

The Globe and Mail: Is Litigation the Answer to the Opioid Crisis?