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posted by martyb on Friday November 22 2019, @08:57AM   Printer-friendly
from the if-it's-non-addicting,-give-it-to-every-exec-for-a-month dept.

Report: Sacklers using fake doctors, false marketing to sell OxyContin in China

The mega-rich family behind the OxyContin-maker Purdue Pharma is back to selling its highly addictive pain-killer with underhanded tactics and deceptive advertising—this time in China, via its international company, Mundipharma. That’s all according to a searing new investigation by the Associated Press.

The Sackler family, which owns both Purdue and Mundipharma, is embroiled in litigation in the United States over its alleged role in sparking the country’s epidemic of opioid abuse and overdoses. Thousands of plaintiffs—many state and local governments—claim that Purdue and the Sacklers misled patients, doctors, and regulators on the addictiveness of their drugs, aggressively marketed them, and wooed doctors into over-prescribing them.

While Purdue has since declared bankruptcy and stopped promoting OxyContin in the US, the Sacklers seem to be employing the same practices in China.

Based on documents and interviews with multiple Mundipharma representatives in China, the AP investigation found that reps were at times posing as doctors, providing debunked information that its long-acting opioids are safe and less addictive, and even illegally copying private medical records of patients to inform sales tactics.

[...]Mundipharma, meanwhile, is still hiring in China.

The AP story linked above is in-depth and well worth reading. See also: HuffPost.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Barenflimski on Friday November 22 2019, @04:31PM (2 children)

    by Barenflimski (6836) on Friday November 22 2019, @04:31PM (#923438)

    This whole "It's the Sackler families fault!" thing is a ridiculous scapegoat. It also took the FDA, the Internet, the medical establishment, government policies and the pharmacies.

    Did we need as many folks on pain medicines that ended up on them? No.
    Do they help some folks? Yes.
    Was abruptly stopping treatment and pushing hundreds of thousands to the black market the way to deal with this? No.
    Did the entire system help cause this? Yes.

    What happened to the patients?
    Patients ended up as pawns.
    Patients ended up being cut off abruptly with zero help.
    State and City governments stopped or severely curtailed prescribing but offered little to no help or tapering.
    Patients were given the choice to be sick for an extended time or find this stuff on the black market so they could continue to function.

    Now State and City governments are cashing in pretending they were practicing some form of "harm reduction" when this was going down. Its amazing to see the altruism coming out of the woodwork now around the money after the original reaction was to push hundreds of thousands out of clinics and into the streets.

    If any of what we are seeing is really meant to help the people then I would expect to unwind this we would:
    1. See the tens of thousands jailed for Opiates released and helped out financially with treatment options.
    2. See the rehab houses available to anyone that needs it with free entry and no wait times.

    It took years to ramp up the Opiate use. These guys tried to turn it around overnight. Now we have 70,000 overdose deaths annually mostly due to Fentanyl laced Heroin.

    The Sackler family may have pushed getting folks on this stuff, but it was government policies that forced people to the streets.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 22 2019, @09:21PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 22 2019, @09:21PM (#923525)

    Meanwhile the government comes up with a draconian response to the problem. That is, they make opioides unavailable to people who need them as medicine, as if there is no way that distribution can be properly controlled. The system actually worked well enough until pharmaceutical salespeople started brainwashing doctors, who will never again be trusted by the government.

    Why is it that those who make our laws aren't required to be sensible about it?

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 22 2019, @10:08PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 22 2019, @10:08PM (#923540)

    This whole "It's the Sackler families fault!" thing is a ridiculous scapegoat.

    TFA refutes your statement. You may have had a point when the first lawsuits were ongoing. Now, however, they have been actually convicted of wrongdoing and they still peddle their same wares, but in a different jurisdiction. That's very much plainly in the realm of "it's the Sackler families fault"!