Purdue Pharma’s creation, development and sale of its $31 billion blockbuster painkiller, OxyContin are now surfacing from lawsuits and an LA Times Investigation. Early on, Purdue researchers developed a “slow-release” design for delivery of the drug to the patient. However, doctors began to see that the 12 hour “slow-release” wasn’t working in many cases and that it wore off after 5-8 hours.
The LA Times has found documents showing the company instructed doctors to prescribe stronger doses, not more frequent ones, when the patients complain that OxyContin doesn’t last 12 hours. One physician who served as an expert says that the higher doses compounded the withdrawal problems for the patients. To this date, the FDA has not requested that Purdie change its recommendations regarding higher doses.
Importantly, Purdue is alleged to have marketed OxyContin as being less addictive than it really is.
For reasons which could only be answered by The Department of Justice, Purdue has been able to avoid any criminal sanctions or serious legal penalties. It paid a $634.5 million fine on the drug which has earned it over $31 billion to date. Stay tuned
Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers