Cheat-Seeking Missles

Saturday, April 15, 2006

OxyContin And Corporate Corruption

There's a lengthy comment about OxyContin, posted this morning on my wife's Voice of the Victims blog. I'll excerpt portions for you:
I wanted to point out that unlike street drugs, oxy-contin made by Purdue Pharma, a company [that] purposely distributed oxy-contin to small rural areas at routine dr. visits purposely "to get the ball rolling”.

Now a multi million dollar industry, MASS amounts of these pain pills are available with easy access to the now addicted public. Like any addiction, the people are stopping at nothing to get more pills, stealing, lying, breaking into pharmacies at gunpoint, the usual addicted behavior of a addicted addict. More pills than people in NEED prescribed for pain by FAR.

Basically it's legal drug trade if you think about it...Purdue Pharma paid off employees who were against this horror story, and whatever the price it worked. The people who were against this now continue working for the company and MONEY keeps people quiet, changes morals, and obviously speaks louder than the millions addicted and dying from this pain pills mass distribution.. Purdue Pharma had good intentions??
Could a drug company really set out to formulate a product that addicts, then devise a marketing scheme that encourages addiction? It sounds more out of Hollywood than Stamford, CT, where Purdue is headquartered. But there could be truth to the claim:
The active ingredient in Oxycontin is oxycodone, a substance found in many different pain medications. However, most other pain medications contain small amounts of oxycodone. Oxycontin is a time-release formula that contains a significantly greater amount of oxycodone. Oxycontin is both one of the best selling prescription medications and one of the most abused drugs in history. ...

Oxycontin has been linked to over a hundred deaths. Its high and addiction have been compared to those of heroin. The devastation associated with Oxycontin includes armed robberies, criminal indictments of doctors, individual and state lawsuits against Purdue Pharma, and concern from the DEA and FDA. The DEA has asked Purdue Pharma to change its strategy regarding Oxycontin. These suggestions included: marketing Oxycontin only to pain specialists, omit the claim that Oxycontin is less subject to abuse than other narcotics, and reformulation of the drug. (source)
Apparently some of the problem has to do with OxyContin's time release system, as reported by Relatives Against Purdue Pharma:
A Clinical Researcher employed by Purdue Pharma alleges in a lawsuit filed against the pharmaceutical company that he had informed Purdue management of a flaw in the design of the drug’s time-released coating. In addition, this employee claims that he was advised to not alert Purdue Pharma’s in-house drug regulators of this flaw, including the government. Shortly thereafter, this employee’s job was terminated.
In fairness, I should point out that Purdue is also being attacked for not making OxyContin more available. But that appears to be more evidence of an over-aggressive profit motive with Purdue, because this lawsuit claims Purdue used false lawsuits and other means to block cheaper generic forms of OxyContin from entering the market.

We Republicans tend to be pro-free market, pro-big business and anti-government over-regulation. I offer this story up to you today with a reminder that moderation -- and good research -- in all things is a wise rule. There are bad companies, like Purdue, and like those that promote porous borders so they can fire American workers and hire lower-paid illegals.

It's companies like this that government regulation was created for, and they deserve no mercy from the regulators or the courts.

hat-tip: Voice of the Victims
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