Before moving on to the answer, you need to give a little explanation. In the United States, advertising (including on TV) of drugs that are not on the free market is very common, i.e. are distributed by prescription only. The population is shown happy and contented people against the backdrop of lawns and fluffy clouds with calls to "ask your doctor about a medicine such and such." I am not aware of any other countries where this is practiced on such a scale.
T. the opioid crisis is a phenomenon unique to the United States, nowhere else in the world is anything like it. Well described in the scientific and fiction literature bursts of opium addiction during the Vietnam War (1.5 deaths from overdose per 100,000 people in 1971), cocaine in the 80s (2 deaths from overdose per 100,000 people in 1982) do not go to any comparison with the current situation. Opioid overdose currently kills 10.3 per 100,000 people per year on the national average and much more in individual states (up to 40 in West Virginia).
In 2015, 52,000 Americans died of overdose , of which two-thirds, 33,000 from opioids. For comparison, in 2010. this figure was 16,000, and in 1999. - 4,000.
The following statistics are usually cited as reasons. In 1991, 76 million prescriptions for pain relievers were issued by doctors in the country. In 2011 - 219 million. In 2002, the share of prescriptions for drugs more potent than morphine was 1/6. By 2012, this figure had reached 1/3.
In 2010, the federal government began administrative harassment of doctors and pharmacists who "prescribe excessive amounts of opioid pain relievers." This has led, among other things, to the fact that more and more people are turning to the use of cheaper and more potent street heroin. Certain states, such as Maine, have tried to legislatively limit the types and quantities of prescription drugs, most often in the form of "no more than a certain amount per person per week," which led to a similar increase in illegal traffic.
In general, I think yes, the US pharmaceutical companies enjoy unbelievable privileges by the standards of a developed country, and due to many years of lobbying they are practically untouchable from a political point of view. As an example, the only one of all the developed countries of the world where the state does not regulate the prices of medicines is the United States. American society tends to blame doctors and opium addicts, not companies that stimulate demand for opioids; so far with insignificant or even negative results.
It's just that the planes began to fall less, they mostly die from sedatives and painkillers out of stupidity. Example: a person is in pain, he drinks painkillers, which acts in an hour, but the pain does not go away and he drinks after 15 minutes and an overdose. Well, or the classics, traknilizers with booze and suffocate with vomit. I do not see the fault of pharmaceutical companies here