Nevada bill: let patients sue docs, drugmakers over addiction

by Walter Olson on March 7, 2013

“A bill that would allow patients addicted to prescription drugs to sue the doctors who prescribed the medication — and the drug’s makers — was met with stiff opposition Wednesday in a Nevada legislative hearing.” Sen. Tick Segerblom (D-Las Vegas), who introduced SB 75, defended the measure: “They know the person can get addicted to the drug so they should pay for the process of them getting off it.” [AP; related effort to use drug-dealer-liability laws] (& White Coat)

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1 Shtetl G 03.07.13 at 4:10 pm

Prescription Opioid Addiction is a complicated issue. On one end of the issue you have people who are in chronic intractable pain and these medications are the only thing that can help mitigate the pain. On the other side of the issue, there are clearly people who will abuse opioids for recreational purposes. And then somewhere in the middle, there are people who are in pain and hooked on opioids. If you make Doctors and manufacturers liable for addiction, it may help stem the tide of addiction. It will also leave a lot of people in pain. I honestly do not know where the correct middle ground is in the situation. As a society are we willing to accept a certain amount of preventable suffering? Is it the legislatures job to tell a doctor how to do their job? I really wish I knew the answer.

2 No Name Guy 03.07.13 at 4:30 pm

This just boggles the mind…… Of course, NOTHING could go wrong were this to be enacted. The last few sentences of the article are shocking in revealing the attitude of this guy.

3 rxc 03.07.13 at 4:33 pm

I wonder what the definition of “addicted” is in this bill. Does this mean that if you have to take a drug for the rest of your life, to treat some medical condition, you are “addicted” to it? Diabetics are clearly “addicted” to insulin, and everyone is “addicted” to air and water…

4 Eric 03.07.13 at 4:47 pm

The correct ground is if you ever want another narcotic,valium or sleeping pill prescribed in Nevada, do not pass this bill.

5 Doug 03.07.13 at 5:35 pm

pass this bill and you wont see any more prescriptions of this medicine.

6 John David Galt 03.07.13 at 8:19 pm

Not only will this stop any doctor in Nevada from writing the prescriptions, I expect the manufacturers would make it a condition of sale from now on that their products never be resold to a Nevadan. (I fail to see how a complaint about “restraint of trade” could fly after the law is enacted.)

It sure sounds like you don’t want to be sick in Nevada.

7 wfjag 03.07.13 at 8:56 pm

@Doug:
“pass this bill and you wont see any more prescriptions of this medicine.”

There’s still the I used to live in California, but moved to Nevada; and The I got my Rx filled in California while I lived in Nevada; and, There’s always class actions for all addicted people everywhere.

You seem convinced that facts and logic will prevail over greed. If so, I’ve got some ocean front property in Nevada you might be interested in.

8 Ron Miller 03.07.13 at 11:17 pm

Nevada is trying to construct medical malpractice law so that is that it is exactly the opposite of what I think it should be.

9 VMS 03.08.13 at 6:53 am

There are hair-brained bills that stand no chance of making it into law that are introduced every day.

10 jesse spurway 03.08.13 at 10:50 am

“There are hair-brained bills that stand no chance of making it into law ”

and some that do become law.

11 Nicolas 03.08.13 at 1:54 pm

This will guarantee that yet more people with chronic pain go under- or untreated. American drug laws are rank sadism.

12 david7134 03.08.13 at 3:05 pm

I had a patient in my office a few days ago. He was a veteran, elderly and in terrible pain. He was crying as he could not get relief from the pain because of laws that Jindal passed limiting doctors ability to address the issue. This is what doctors see. A few people abuse drugs, the government reacts and then those that really need the medications can not get them. Medicare even refuses to pay for the drugs.

The simplest way of handling this is to eliminate our drug laws. They were started in 1913. Before that, you could obtain anything you desired, and they pretty much had the same equivalent to what is on the shelves now in respect to pain meds and some mind altering drugs, like cocaine (by the way, what did FDR do immediately after hearing about Pearl Harbor, he took a hit of cocaine). Now stir in the fact that these laws have done nothing to effect the rate of drug use among those that will abuse the medication. Then add the fact that there is no such thing a addiction. There is certainly physical dependence that can be over come in short order by gradual withdrawal of the drug. But to think there is some alteration in brain chemistry that makes you have to constantly use medications is a falsehood and is propagated by our government and other interest that desire the status quo. Now, who are the forces against self medication and deregulation? Mostly the progressives on both sides. Those that want the government to be in our lives. This is from both the conservative far right and the liberals. Economics has demonstrated that if people use drugs, they do not get “addicted” to the point that they are a slave to the drug. The reason some drugs are more popular than others is cost. They will go for the cheapest. These people that abuse drugs will abuse anything, I have

Many people in the US are suffering because of this stupidity. Other countries are beginning to withdraw their tyrannical laws, we need to do so as well.

13 Rhymes With Right 03.11.13 at 2:51 pm

What next — apply the same standard to distillers and brewers, with liquor store and bar owners having similar liability?

14 Darren McKinney 03.12.13 at 2:10 pm

I suppose it’s just a comical coincidence that this lawsuit-promoting legislation is being championed on behalf of parasitic personal injury lawyers by a senator named “Tick.” …

Honorable Nevadans ought to be ashamed of the disgraceful civil justice system that certain lawsuit-loving, special interest-favoring officials have created there. In any case, no one should be surprised the next time my organization cites the Silver State in its Judicial Hellholes report.

Darren McKinney
American Tort Reform Association
Washington, DC

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