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Feds spotlight big-pharma companies as wrongdoers in opioid crisis

Saying that the federal government "has borne substantial costs as a result of the opioid crisis," high-ranking regulators have signaled a new focus in their response to the problem.

And it has -- at least figuratively -- put a bulls-eye on the backs of executives who run the country's largest pharmaceutical companies. Those entities are centrally implicated in the mass addictions plaguing the country, says U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and they will now feel the sting of ever-tightening bureaucratic controls.

Sessions vows to take big-pharma firms to court in pursuit of both criminal and civil penalties that he says are owed American taxpayers for dire results reaped from the "false, deceptive and unfair marketing of opioid drugs."

In fact, the DOJ just filed a brief in existing litigation against multiple opioid makers and distributors. Sessions promises more of the same.

Regulators' sudden and forceful moves against big drug companies are understandable. Much of the public is clamoring for action, and opioid manufacturers and sellers are obvious high-profile targets in what is now a relentless federal campaign.

We also focus on opioid addiction and related crime at the Bay Area Law Office of John W. Noonan, but with a materially different slant than that recently highlighted by the DOJ's actions. We help people facing drug charges. Many of those individuals are nonviolent and first-time offenders who are simply trapped by the addictive powers of opiods like Xanax and Ocycodone.

Those individuals need a strong legal defense, given the often serious consequences of criminal conviction.

And we proudly play a central legal role in helping them. We welcome contacts to the firm to discuss our advocacy of clients who can benefit from prison-alternative sentencing outcomes such as counseling and treatment.

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