The Role of Pharmaceutical Companies in the Opioid Crisis

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Iyer, Sathwik

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Today, the Opioid Crisis in the United States continues to rage on as pharmaceutical companies fight battles in both criminal and civil courts. While there have been several victories against pharmaceutical companies in recent months, there is still a long road ahead in terms of combatting the Opioid Crisis in the United States. The purpose of this thesis is to analyze the role of pharmaceutical companies and physicians in perpetuating the current Opioid Crisis taking place in America today. I conducted a literature review to determine and understand the different facets and avenues of action that pharmaceutical companies have taken to push opioids on the general public. First, I discussed and reviewed the different waves of the Opioid Crisis. This is followed by the presentation and discussion of three case studies that demonstrate the role that pharmaceutical companies and physicians play in the Opioid Crisis. Specifically, the legal court cases and settlements from the Sackler Family and Purdue Pharma as well as Janssen, McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen are discussed. Next, this thesis explores the role that pharmaceutical companies’ marketing strategy plays in understanding the Opioid Crisis. Finally, this work offers a conclusion that offers ideas for future research in this area.


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