Recent research is demonstrating that OxyContin and the aggressive and irresponsible way that it was marketed, may have caused more damage than originally thought. OxyContin is an opioid painkiller that was first placed on the market by manufacturer Purdue Pharma in 1996. It was a 12-hour release of oxycodone. It was often abused by users who would crush up the pills and ingest the entire dose by snorting or injecting it. The levels of rampant OxyContin abuse have devastated communities and families across the country.
Studies have shown that the aggressive marketing tactics of Purdue Pharma played a significant role in the opioid crisis. This marketing included approaching doctors in person, giving them gifts, buying them meals, and funding pain treatment groups that urged the liberal use of OxyContin. The company minimized the potential for opioid addiction.
In addition, Purdue’s distribution of OxyContin was significantly higher in states where regulations made it easier to market. They avoided states with triplicate prescription programs because it raised concerns for prescribers about law enforcement scrutiny. These programs had a chilling effect on opioid prescriptions. Research shows that OxyContin use was 250% higher in states with fewer regulations. OxyContin misuse was also, unsurprisingly, higher.
In 2010, Purdue Pharma changed the makeup of OxyContin to make it less likely to be addictive. The pill could no longer be crushed into a powder, which made it so that the drug could not be snorted or injected easily. However, this change in formulation led to many abusers of OxyContin turning to heroin instead. The heroin overdose rate more than tripled after the new OxyContin formulation was released. The new version of the drug did not solve the addiction problem. It only caused addicts to switch to a different drug.
Purdue Pharma is currently being sued by nearly every state in the country, thousands of cities, towns, counties, and Native American tribes. Recent studies further implicate the company in producing the opioid crisis. While Purdue looks towards the settlement of these lawsuits, these communities are still dealing with the devastating effects of OxyContin addiction.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If you or someone you love has been affected by OxyContin addiction, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. For over 20 years, Gregg Goldfarb has been helping the victims of dangerous products. Contact us online or call us at 305-374-7000 to schedule a free consultation.