The state of Kentucky filed a lawsuit against the Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin for misleading doctors about the potential for drug abuse with their medication. Accused of, “misleading doctors by withholding information about the potential dangers of the drug and its relative ease to abuse.”
Purdue, who has created the fastest growing abused drug in North America has already paid $643.5 Million in fines for the Justice Department’s off-label marketing claims.
Purdue has declined the accusations against them claiming they have tried to combat abuse of their product by making an “abuse-resistant” version of the pill. However, a recent study published in the European Journal showed it (OxyContin) was found to release even higher levels of dopamine than other opioids making it the most addictive drug on the market.
Purdue Pharma is not the first pharmaceutical company to be sued for off-label marketing. In 2012 GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of drugs such as Avandia, Wellbutrin and Paxil landed themselves in court with $3 billion in fines for off-label promotion and in the following year Johnson & Johnson paid $2.2 billion in fines for the same thing.
Pharmaceutical companies will continue to lie about their products to ensure that doctors continue to prescribe them. Meanwhile, Forbes has listed the Sackler family as the 16th wealthiest in the United States having an astonishing net worth of $14 billion. How were they able to achieve such a fortune? By creating the most popular and abused opioid of the 21st century – OxyContin.
People are dying. Of those who still have their lives, many are finding themselves in the grips of addiction. Since its inception, OxyContin abuse has commonly lead to heroin addiction. . It’s easier to find as well as significantly cheaper than Purdue Pharma’s child. Heroin, one of the few substances able to release a comparable amount of dopamine in the brain, has become a popular alternative for those who no longer have access to OxyContin and have become chemically dependent.
250 arrests were made by state police for either position or trafficking of heroin in 2008. Just five years later that number climbed to 1,300. In 2003 police seized 63 grams of heroin compared to 544 grams a decade later. Emergency rooms received 252 overdoses related to heroin in 2011 and more than doubled that just two years later. The evidence is clear, the heroin problem isn’t going to fix itself and this trend will continue to climb until something is done.