Drug Addiction, Facts About Addiction, Substance Abuse  |  July 14, 2016

For years, the maker of Oxycontin, Purdue Pharma, has allegedly been collecting an extensive amount of information about the Oxycontin prescribing habits of physicians and pharmacies across the United States – including Connecticut.

As we have reported before – nearly 200,000 people have died from Oxycontin overdoses since 1999.


And it has long been reported that this drug is one of the most dangerous and addictive drugs known to humankind.

So one would hope that by tracking Oxycontin usage – Purdue Pharma was able to restrict sales of the drug to physicians or pharmacies with suspiciously high or suspiciously frequent prescribing patterns – right?

After all – for drug companies – patient safety and well being comes first…

But does it?

According to a just published report in the L.A. Times, Purdue Pharma was in fact tracking physicians and pharmacies and “collected extensive evidence suggesting illegal trafficking of OxyContin and, in many cases, did not share it with law enforcement or cut off the flow of pills. A former Purdue executive, who monitored pharmacies for criminal activity, acknowledged that even when the company had evidence pharmacies were colluding with drug dealers, it did not stop supplying distributors selling to those stores.”

The report continues… “Purdue knew about many suspicious doctors and pharmacies from prescribing records, pharmacy orders, field reports from sales representatives and, in some instances, its own surveillance operations, according to court and law enforcement records, which include internal Purdue documents, and interviews with current and former employees.”

So why did they not act to stop the flow of this dangerous drug in instances where they knew abuse was occurring?

Purdue Pharma is a private, family-owned corporation and has earned more than $31 billion selling Oxycontin.

It’s also a company that in recent years pleaded guilty to federal charges of misbranding Oxycontin in what Purdue Pharma concedes was an attempt to mislead physicians about the risks of addiction to the drug. The company was forced to pay $635 million in fines in that case.

And why was Purdue Pharma tracking the prescription habits of U.S. doctors in particular?

Again according the L.A. Times, “that information was vital to Purdue’s sales department. Representatives working on commission used it to identify doctors writing a small number of OxyContin prescriptions who might be persuaded to write more.”

Continuing from the L.A. Times, “With a few keystrokes on his computer at Purdue, Jack Crowley could identify pharmacies around the country that were moving a staggering volume of 80s and almost nothing else. “I could punch it in at any time…Bang,” Crowley told the Times. “I was sitting on a gold mine.”

“Sitting on a gold mine…”

This very say story again raises the question – is medicine about making the sick well and reducing suffering – or is it about making money? We leave that question with you to ponder.

To read more about the L.A. Times report click here: http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-me-oxycontin-part2/

If you or a loved one are battling addiction to OxyContin or another opioid drug, the addiction rehab specialists at Aware Recovery Care in Connecticut can help.  Our innovative care model is producing recovery rates 350% higher than the national average.  Call us if we can help you.  www.awarerecoverycare.com

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