The opioid crisis has caused many Americans to become addicted to dangerous drugs that alter your brain and can sometimes be fatal. Heavy scrutiny lies with major pharmaceutical companies that pumped numerous small towns across the country full of these dangerous drugs to make a considerable profit. While many pharmaceutical companies have come under fire for being at the root of America’s opioid problem, most have claimed they had no idea of opioid’s addictive qualities.
Now it’s come to light that at least one pharmaceutical company knew about the effects of their opioids. There’s a report from the Justice Department that Purdue Pharma had knowledge about how their drug, OxyContin, was being widely abused from its start in 1996, kept the information quiet, and continued to sell their drug as a “safer” opioid.
Evidence that showed how OxyContin was abused included reports of people stealing the drugs from pharmacies, people crushed and snorted the pills, and doctors were accused of selling prescriptions. Knowing this, Purdue Pharma still marketed OxyContin as a drug that people would be at a lower risk of abuse compared to other opioids.
The company continued to see how addictive there drug was from 1997-2000. Sales representatives from Purdue used terminology such as “crush,” and “snort” and also referred to “street value” when discussing this drug with professionals in the medical field. The Sackler family own this company and there are emails that show they had reports about OxyContin and MS Contin abuse.
Purdue continued to sell their drug as a safer opioid even though they knew that abusers were seeking their drugs because of their high narcotic levels. Some were extracting morphine from their MS Contin pills.
A company spokesman thinks there isn’t a connection from the abuse of the drug 16 years ago and the crisis today. But certain areas were being flooded with drugs years ago and then those that were addicted turn to illegal street equivalents like heroin. This continued cycle could have easily contributed to the large amount of people who are addicted or overdosed on opioids.
Purdue pleaded guilty in 2007 to misbranding their drug and the severity of its addictive qualities. Because of this, those accused were fined and had to do community service. But other officials think this was a missed opportunity to show pharmaceutical companies that they can’t continue to do this or cover it up.
If you or a loved one has an opioid addiction problem or it led to a loved one’s death, a Louisville opioid abuse lawyer from Thomas Law Offices can help you with your claim. We understand that addiction is a serious issue that requires compassion and understanding. You or your loved one may have been prescribed a drug when you didn’t truly need it or weren’t given all the facts about the drug. You deserve better. With our help, you may be able to get compensation that will provide financial support as you recover.
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