Tucson Medical Center Holding Opioid Drug Companies Accountable / by Joe Furia

Ann-Marie Alameddin, Vice President of Strategy and General Counsel

Much attention has been brought to the opioid epidemic impacting patients, communities and hospitals throughout Arizona. Across the country communities have been struggling to address this issue and while steps have been taken by individual hospitals, communities, states and the federal government, the epidemic continues to result in the deaths of tens of thousands of people. 

Since Arizona began collecting data on opioid deaths in June of 2017, at least two people per day, on average, have died of an opioid overdose in our state.  As part of a solution, Tucson Medical Center has filed a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors to hold them accountable for their actions and stopping their illegal actions. In a statement released last week AzHHA President and CEO, Greg Vigdor said, “We applaud Tucson Medical Center’s leadership in stepping forward to hold opioid drug companies accountable for the devastation that this crisis has caused Arizona patients and families. The Arizona hospital and healthcare community is committed to meeting the needs of patients and families during this crisis. It is only right that drug companies who ignored their legal and ethical obligations be held accountable.”

In an effort to assist members in keeping current with the myriad of changes related to opioid prescribing requirements AzHHA engaged Coppersmith Brockelman to develop Arizona Opioid Compliance Toolkits for: (1) Hospitals and Outpatient Surgery Centers; and (2) Outpatient Clinics that are available to download here. In addition, we are holding a webinar on September 18th that will review the requirements and recommendations for structuring an opioid compliance program.