OXYCONTIN INVESTIGATIONS CONTINUE
June 30, 2016
The misuse of opioid painkillers is a significant medical problem in the US. The CDC reports that since 1999, fatalities from prescription opioids quadrupled. Different factors contribute to opioid painkiller misuse. One issue that’s important to investigate is the potential contribution of pharmaceutical companies to the unnecessary and harmful use of these painkillers.
A look at OxyContin
There are calls for a government investigation into Purdue Pharma, the company that manufactures OxyContin. OxyContin is a popular opioid painkiller that, according to Purdue Pharma, can offer pain relief for a 12-hour time window. However, the company faces allegations that they knew the drug’s effects wouldn’t last 12 hours for many patients. The way they’ve marketed the drug may be misleading, part of their attempt to get an edge over competitors at the expense of people’s well-being.
What’s particularly alarming is that when OxyContin’s effects weaken before the 12 hours are up, patients can begin to experience strong withdrawal symptoms, potentially increasing the chances of addiction and misuse.
We’ll be watching the news in the coming months to track how the allegations against Purdue Pharma develop. The company has already faced legal action over OxyContin. In fact, a judge in Kentucky recently ordered that documents and testimony be uncovered from a lawsuit that Purdue Pharma settled in 2015 for $24 million. The lawsuit dealt with allegations of fraud and negligence concerning how the company has marketed OxyContin. Although Purdue Pharma didn’t publicly admit wrongdoing at the time, the documents could help shed light on their marketing practices.
It’s critical to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for their actions, particularly as their products can mean the difference between life and death for patients.