Big Pharma Opioid Epidemic, Part 2 Painkiller Prescriptions Increasing Overdoses
Purdue Misleading Doctors and Patients
Doctor Joshua Kane, head of research at A Better Today Recovery Services and lecturer at Arizona State University picks up right where we left off with Big Pharma Opioid Epidemic, Part 1 – Prescribing Pain Medication.
Purdue Pharmaceuticals, a medical marketing giant, claimed that OxyContin had a low risk of addiction and used that as its main selling point.
“Through an array of promotional materials, including literature, brochures, video tapes, and web content, Purdue proudly asserted that the potential for addiction to OxyContin was very small, less than 1 percent” Kane said.
The FDA backed them Kane explained, “probably because they were being indirectly paid through lobbying funds that Purdue was providing to congress. Meanwhile pharma reps for the company told doctors around the globe that patients can’t get high on OxyContin. These were lies build on lies built on more lies.”
Big Pharma Charged and Fined
In 2007 Purdue plead guilty to charges that it mislead people to believe that OxyContin wasn’t addictive.
“Prosecutors found, at Purdue, a culture that allowed this product to be miss branded with the intent to defraud and mislead.”
Purdue had to pay a big fine, but it was nothing compared to the money brought in from the sales of OxyContin.
“Purdue Pharma paid $600 million in fines, it’s among one of the largest settlements in US history for a pharmaceutical company. The revenue for the sale of OxyContin soared past $35 billion, in other words Purdue was fined 1.7 percent of their revenues on OxyContin for making the false claim that it wasn’t addictive.”
While some prescriptions have a legitimate reason, over prescribing is becoming more and more of a problem. In 2010 there were enough painkillers prescribed to keep every adult in the US medicated for a whole month.
“Between 2001 and 2014 the amount of overdose deaths from prescription medications nearly tripled. Between 1999 and 2010 overdoses from pain medications rose 400 percent; in 2015 prescription Tranquilizers, prescription Opioids and Antidepressants were responsible or more overdose deaths than Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamines and Amphetamines combined.”