Purdue Pharma Sued over OxyContin Abuse Deaths
Pharmaceuticals have the ability to make a pain pill that is not addictive but they choose not to. Instead they produce more and more addictive drugs in order to make billions in drug sales at the cost of your life or the life of someone you love.
Purdue Pharma’s premier drug for pain relief is OxyContin. Doctors are supposed to prescribe it for such pain as Cancer, severe arthritis, fractures, lower back pain, Fibromyalgia or bursitis.
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They are only supposed to give the drug out for post-surgery on rare occasions but this has not been the case. Anyone with any condition such as; broken bones and adults with headaches and mild to moderate pains are obtaining prescriptions for OxyContin.
With oxycontin, there is a risk for almost immediate addiction. This pain relieving pill is highly addictive in many people and is part of the semi-synthetic opiate drug with a modified chemical called thebaine which is an organic compound found in cocaine. The street value of OxyContin ranges from $20 to upwards of $400 a pill depending on what area of the country you live in and what strength the pills are. This was dubbed ‘hillbilly heroine’ during it’s most popular years the 1990’s and 2000’s however it’s use is still escalading today.
There have been, and continue to be, many individuals and class action lawsuits against the makers of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma. This Connecticut based drug company has also been sued by American States and Providences from Canada.
Purdue continually charged with irresponsible marketing of the very addictive pain reliever. The companies executives, CEO Michael Friedman and CLO Howard Udell pled guilty to the charges, however they continue to blame others for the deaths of thousands.
Food and Drug Administration
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported that Friedman and Udell, Purdue Pharma was training its sales force to put together false representations to healthcare providers regarding the complexity for extracting oxycodone, which is the active ingredient, from the OxyContin tablets. They were training their sales staff to characterize OxyContin as not causing an euphoric feeling and that this pill was less habit-forming than the immediate release pills filled with comparable opiates. These sales reps also allowed doctors and health care staff to believe that OxyContin was far less addictive than morphine.
Big Pharma Advertizing
Much of Purdue Pharma’s literature and advertisements were geared towards doctors that worked in clinics and were not trained in looking for drug seeking patients. It is the responsibility of the drug company to warn the doctors of the side effects and the risks of the drugs they are prescribing. The doctors could take it on themselves to become more educated about the medication, however, if the information is not readily available or is misleading, a doctor could be sued as well. To fix their image and deflect the bad attention away from the law suits, Purdue Pharma has donated thousands of dollars to communities around the country to help law enforcement agencies fight the war on prescription drugs. This is a little too little and a little too late. Purdue Pharma spent 200 million dollars on their advertising campaign in 2001 promoting their controversial pain reliever to doctors. They also report earns in the billions each year. Many families who have had loved ones die from overdoes to OxyContin think their thousand dollar donations are a ‘slap in the face.’