Opioid manufacturer Purdue sought to create a drug to combat the effects of opioid abuse so they could profit from both end of the pharmaceutical spectrum. In an NPR Newshour piece, it was noted that “The family behind OxyContin raked in billions of dollars as it pushed to keep patients on the powerful painkiller longer despite evidence that the drug was helping to fuel the nation’s deadly opioid crisis, Massachusetts authorities allege in newly public court documents.
While aggressively marketing OxyContin, the Sackler family also sought to profit off the drug abuse crisis its company helped create by exploring selling drugs used to treat addiction and reverse overdoses, state lawyers contend in previously secret parts of their lawsuit against Purdue Pharma.”
This is more than hypocritical, it’s diabolical. Can you imagine manufacturing something that you know will eventually lead to addiction and then coming up with the brilliant idea to manufacture something else to combat that addiction so that you could profit from both ends of the pipeline?
Purdue had fought to keep the new allegations secret, but three courts ruled against the company. Its lawyers said after the wholly unredacted complaint was released late Thursday that Massachusetts is trying to “single out Purdue, blame it for the entire opioid crisis, and try the case in the court of public opinion rather than the justice system.”
Health officials say nearly 48,000 overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2017 involved some type of opioid, including illicit drugs.
Massachusetts accuses Purdue of keeping track of doctors who were potentially overprescribing OxyContin, but failing to report them to authorities. In 2012, one Purdue employee told an executive that the company should tell insurance companies the names of the doctors suspected of illegal prescribing, calling it the “right and ethical thing to do.”