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posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday September 11 2018, @01:50PM   Printer-friendly
from the create-a-need-and-fill-it dept.

Man who made billions from OxyContin is pushing drug to wean addicts off opioids

Following hundreds of lawsuits over the years against pharmaceutical giant Purdue Pharma, Colorado's attorney general is suing the OxyContin creator for its "significant role in causing the opioid epidemic." The lawsuit claims Purdue Pharma L.P. and Purdue Pharma Inc. deluded doctors and patients in Colorado about the potential for addiction with prescription opioids and continued to push the drugs. And it comes amid news that the company's former chairman and president, Richard Sackler, has patented a new drug to help wean addicts from opioids.

[...] In federal court in 2007, three top current and former employees for Purdue pleaded guilty to criminal charges, admitting that they had falsely led doctors and their patients to believe that OxyContin was less likely to be abused than other drugs in its class, according to The New York Times. Then earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported that Purdue planned to stop promoting the drug.

Now, it seems, a new business venture is only adding to the outcry. The Financial Times reported that Sackler, whose family owns Purdue Pharma, a multibillion-dollar company, patented a new drug earlier this year that is a form of buprenorphine, a mild opioid that is used to ease withdrawal symptoms. However, some are expressing outrage that the Sacklers, who have in essence profited from opioid addictions, may soon be profiting from the antidote. "It's reprehensible what Purdue Pharma has done to our public health," Luke Nasta, director of Camelot, a New York-based treatment center for drug and alcohol addiction, told the Financial Times. He told the newspaper that the Sackler family "shouldn't be allowed to peddle any more synthetic opiates - and that includes opioid substitutes."

Financial Times also reported that the Sackler family owns Rhodes Pharma, "a little-known Rhode Island-based drugmaker that is among the largest producers of off-patent generic opioids in the U.S."

Also at The Independent.

Previously: City of Everett, Washington Sues OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma
OxyContin's 12-Hour Problem
South Carolina Sues OxyContin Maker Purdue
Purdue Pharma to Cut Sales Force, Stop Marketing Opioids to Doctors
Tens or Hundreds of Billions of Dollars Needed to Combat Opioid Crisis? (Massachusetts Attorney General sues Sackler family)

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  • (Score: 2) by Revek on Tuesday September 11 2018, @02:06PM (5 children)

    by Revek (5022) on Tuesday September 11 2018, @02:06PM (#733147)

    Even if you caused the problem. Getting the FDA to make opioids schedule two isn't even discussed as a possibility. It would immediately reduce the number of prescriptions and limit supply to thirty days per person. Every prescription would have to be done by hand, by the doctor or practitioner. This is a simple step but no one is looking at it as a step toward solving this manufactured crisis.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by takyon on Tuesday September 11 2018, @02:15PM (3 children)

    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {}> on Tuesday September 11 2018, @02:15PM (#733151) Journal

    Some opioids are on Schedule II. Morphine, oxycodone (Percocet, OxyContin), oxymorphone, fentanyl...

    I'd rather deschedule all drugs than make it harder for legitimate users of pain medications to get what they need. And nobody in the current administration is considering the one proven way to reduce opioid dependence []: legalizing cannabis.

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    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Gaaark on Tuesday September 11 2018, @05:43PM (2 children)

      by Gaaark (41) on Tuesday September 11 2018, @05:43PM (#733219) Journal

      So many people taking 'happy pills' end up on them long term and end up not happy, or even unable to manage the least amount of stress that before they handled without a problem...

      Yes, prescriptions like this should be limited to a month, then re-examined. Too many people are left on prescriptions that should have been limited.

      Take the drug makers out of the doctors office and force the doctor to take care of the patient, not the drug maker.

      --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday September 11 2018, @05:52PM (1 child)

        by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {}> on Tuesday September 11 2018, @05:52PM (#733225) Journal

        The risk is doubling down on the same ineffective Drug War policies that have been around for decades. Limit prescriptions if you need to, maybe lower the amount given each time, but don't move drugs up to Schedule II.

        Legit users can't even get their pain meds. My friend went to the doctor, got a Percocet prescription, and couldn't even get any after driving around to several pharmacies. No wonder there are people out there switching from prescriptions to cheap heroin.

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        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 11 2018, @08:40PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 11 2018, @08:40PM (#733296)

          yeah they should be smoking pot, good for their lungs too!

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Thexalon on Tuesday September 11 2018, @02:46PM

    by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday September 11 2018, @02:46PM (#733164)

    And meanwhile cannabis and anything that is chemically similar, which might be better for pain relief for some folks and with much less risk of addiction, is Schedule I for no good reason.

    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.