Purdue Pharma “Fights Opioid Epidemic” – Too Little, Too Late?

Purdue Pharma is one of the largest opioid makers in the country and the subject of countless lawsuits in the past few years. They’ve received scrutiny over their choices to market and push Oxycontin on the doctors, and in February, they promised to stop actively marketing the drug. Now, this opioid maker is making efforts to help the people that are now addicted to their drugs. But is it just another PR campaign to mitigate the company’s bad reputation?   Critics say that all of this is “too little, too late.” Thousands have died from what even lawmakers say are irresponsible and maybe even illegal practices to push the drug. However, the dire consequences of opioid addiction make it so many localities can’t discriminate between funds. For many people addicted to opioids across the US, there simply isn’t enough help available. The federal government’s Opioid Commission is considered pretty much a “bust”, with lots of recommendations and few monetary resources to implement them. Many states are spending too much…

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Purdue Pharmas Marketing and the Roots of the OxyContin Epidemic

In the late 1990s, Purdue Pharma's marketing campaign for OxyContin was the kick-off for the prescription drug industry's massive promotion of narcotic painkillers for the treatment of chronic pain. One of Purdue's marketing tools was a promotional video that showed how OxyContin had improved the lives of seven patients. The video was distributed directly to 15,000 doctors. Prior to the introduction of OxyContin, most doctors were reluctant to write prescriptions for narcotic drugs due to the risk of addiction and overdose. Despite Purdue Pharma's hard-sell, there was little medical evidence that these drugs could be used to effectively treat pain over the long term without leading to addiction for some patients. Purdue's campaign could be termed a success in terms of profits for drug-manufacturers, with sales of prescription painkillers increasing by 400 percent between 1999 and 2010. According to the Wall Street Journal, sales of OxyContin alone reached more than $2.8 billion in 2011. Other opioid medications like Percocet and Vicodin have also brought huge profits for their makers.…

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