Health: US Settles Lawsuit over Opioid-Related Deaths

The Story:

On October 21, Purdue Pharma, a company now under bankruptcy court protected, settled with the US Department of Justice over its aggressive marketing of drugs (Opioids) with a high potential for addiction, since its introduction of OxyContin, an extended-release formulation of oxycodone, in 1995. OxyContin, and other Purdue products, are often cited in connected with overdose deaths.


“Oxy” became a common “street drug: by the turn of the millennium, some doctors prescribed more than their patients needed, knowing (or being willfully blind to) the fact that those “patients” were selling it into the black market. Purdue, and the Sackler family who are the principal owners, have admitted to conspiring to aid and abet doctors who were over-prescribing.

In Pill Form:

Although Purdue is often reviled for having started the country’s opioid crisis, it can reasonably deny that. The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse found that the nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers rose for each of the 11 years before OxyContin’s introduction. Without making excuses for their behavior, one can say that they stepped into a black market that already existed, and that the problem will not be solved by the punishment of an already bankrupt entity on its way to liquidation.


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