Purdue Pharma Opioid Lawsuit
Purdue Pharma Opioid Lawsuit
When a company knowingly promotes a product that harms people, it can face several forms of justice. In the case of the Purdue Pharma opioid lawsuit, justice is still being served. This is an important issue for people in all areas of recovery.
For those who are on a journey of recovery, it serves as an acknowledgment they were manipulated by drug companies. For professions such as the staff at Resurgence Behavioral Health, it provides insight into how this crisis originated.
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What is OxyContin?
Oxycodone, one of the main ingredients in OxyContin, is a derivative of opium and had been used since the 1960s. Several medical and government agencies had already labeled it as a “dangerous drug.” This meant it was able to be used but needed to be used carefully as it was known to have a high risk of abuse and addiction. As a result, it was used sparingly for people in extreme pain or recovering from surgery.
In the 1990s, a time-release agent was combined with Oxycodone which made it the most powerful — and longest-lasting — pain reliever available on the market.
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How Dangerous is OxyContin?
Concerns about OxyContin continued to grow in the first decade after the drug was released. It became well-known for its recreational use and abuse soon became widespread. In a statement released by the Center for Substance Abuse Research, experts warned “Prolonged use and abuse of oxycodone medications eventually change the brain in such a way that a user cannot quit on his or her own, a typical sign of addiction.” OxyContin was also linked to an increase in overdose deaths.
In response to these concerns, Purdue Pharma changed the manufacturing of the pill, making it harder to crush. People were able to find ways to work around the design change and, of course, pills do not need to be crushed to be abused. In the meantime, Purdue Pharma continued to market the drug aggressively.
What Role did Purdue Pharma Play in the Rise of OxyContin?
As concerns over opioid addiction rose, Purdue Pharma implemented what can only be described as an aggressive marketing plan. They began by studying the prescriber profiles compiled by drug manufacturers. These profiles track which doctors prescribe which drugs and the data can be studied locally or nationally. Purdue Pharma targeted physicians who had a history of prescribing opioid medications.
Within four years, Purdue nearly doubled the number of sales representatives from 318 to 671. These representatives were sent to doctors all over the country with pamphlets, information, and incentives to promote the use of OxyContin for everything from chronic severe pain to dental work.
This approach led to a ten-fold increase in OxyContin prescriptions within just a few years. The end result was not only millions of prescriptions — it means billions of dollars in profit for Purdue Pharma.
What is the Purdue Pharma Opioid Lawsuit?
Purdue Pharma’s aggressive marketing campaign made OxyContin one of the most popular pain relievers in the United States. There was no argument over its efficacy but questions were raised regarding how addictive it could be. Experts agreed it had the potential to be abused and trigger severe psychological and physical addiction.
Even with all of the evidence of abuse and opioid addiction, Purdue Pharma forged ahead. In the end, Purdue Pharma and the family that owns the company profited immensely by promoting a product that was clearly fueling an opioid epidemic across the country.
The Opioid Lawsuit and Its Fallout
More than 2,000 separate opioid lawsuits were brought against Purdue Pharma and its owners, the Sackler family. Private families, cities, and entire states filed their own suits, and they collectively became known as the Purdue Pharma Opioid Lawsuit by the media. In the summer of 2019, Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family began making arrangements to establish a trust that would eventually pay out anywhere from $10 – $15 billion in compensation to victims.
They were further ordered to collect $3 billion from the Sackler family fortune and would relinquish any claims to profits from OxyContin or the sale of their new drug, Nalmefene. Nalmefene was fast-tracked by the FDA to be used to rescue people after an overdose of opioid drugs.
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What the Opioid Lawsuit Means for Opioid Rehab
While all this is good news in terms of companies being held responsible for their part in society, you may be wondering what this is doing on a blog about rehab. This kind of lawsuit is more than justice – it is vindication. Vindication for the people who were given drugs and told they could use them without worry. Vindication for people who were told they became addicted because of some personal shortcoming.
Vindication for people with opioid addiction who simply had no idea what they were getting into. This opioid lawsuit, along with more levied against other companies, drives home the point that addiction is not a personal flaw or failure. Sometimes it is the result of huge companies placing profits over people.
Help for Opioid Addiction
Considering the widespread use and mainstream mentions of OxyContin and opioid drugs, it is easy to see why many people feel hopeless. Opioid addiction is both physical and mental and the journey to recovery needs to address both issues. Resurgence Behavioral Health believes in treating more than the addiction — we treat the human being.
That means addressing the challenges of addiction and the issues that led to it in the first place. We understand how overwhelming it can seem and so we do everything we can to make the process easier and more accessible.
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As part of our commitment to offering help without pressure, we have developed an Insurance Verification service. This free service invited people to speak with one of our insurance experts to understand their personal coverage. The Resurgence Behavioral Health team works with companies across the country and understands different levels of coverage and how they can be applied to opioid rehab. This service is offered with no commitment or obligation. You can choose to work with us in your opioid rehab journey or simply be empowered by the information.
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Help is Available Right Now
No matter what time of the day or night, Resurgence Behavioral Health is here to help. We work tirelessly to meet people where they are today and help them build the tomorrow they want.
We understand the journey is not easy and taking that first step can be the most difficult. But we also know our experience, expertise, and support can go a long way in making that journey a successful one.