Authored By: Candace Whitman
According to an article by CBS News, Purdue Pharma, the producer of OxyContin, announced that it will no longer be marketing opioid drugs to doctors after lawsuits against the company accused them of triggering the opioid abuse epidemic.
In 1995, when the drug was approved, it was marketed as a safer, less addictive chronic pain killer; however, people began to abuse the drug to get a heroin-like high by crushing the pills. In 2007, the company pleaded guilty and “agreed to pay more than $600 million for misleading the public about the risks of OxyContin.”
Andrew Kolodny, the co-director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative at Brandeis University, said in an article by Jim Axelrod of CBS News that Purdue Pharma’s recent decision to halt marketing of the opioid is most likely due to a decrease in sales of Oxycontin caused by generic competition. Kolodny says that Purdue Pharma’s decision will not have much effect unless other opioid producers in the U.S. and outside of the U.S. do the same.
State and local governments are beginning to fight against opioid drug companies in lawsuits and demand that positive changes are made to industry regulations.
Photo Credit: Wavebreak Media Ltd - Ireland