Pharma has been in the news lately, not for healthcare breakthroughs but rather for contributing to an opioid crisis. Purdue Pharma a drug maker known for making OxyContin recently reached a settlement with the attorney general office of Oklahoma. The settlements was reached after Purdue Pharma and other manufacturers of Oxycontin are accuse of contributing to an epidemic of drug addiction in opioids.
This all started when Purdue Pharma as well as other manufacturers were sent to trial in May by the Oklahoma Attorney General. The accusations are focused specifically on the fact that the company is downplaying the opioid addiction risks. They were caught over exaggerating benefits of using Oxycontin to doctors and patients.
But Purdue Pharma has denied that it would be in any wrongdoing or anything like that. In fact, they stated that the painkiller labels have warnings related to the risk of misusage and abuse that can appear from some customers. Hunter’s office spokesperson declined to comment and Purdue Pharma didn’t reply to a request to comment.
OxyContin, their drug, is prescription based and it’s mostly used to treat all kinds of pains. From 1999 and up until 2017, around 218000 people died in the US from prescription opioid overdose, and Purdue Pharma’s product has been on the market since 1996, so well before that. Whether OxyContin is responsible for some of those or not, that’s really hard to say. But after careful consideration it’s pretty clear that the company overstates the benefits while also not showing the downsides that can appear.
Purdue Pharma has been around since the 50s and they are considering bankruptcy in order to protect their assets because of lawsuits they will have to face. They are definitely dealing with some major problems at this time and the story is certainly missing some key ideas at this time, such as how the company will survive in the long run.
At this particular time Purdue Pharma is safe. It’s not known how and why the lawsuit was settled, but it seems that this is not the only lawsuit the company is dealing with, they are actively trying to handle hundreds of lawsuits of small and high caliber too. So it’s really hard for them to be happy about something like this when many other lawsuits are right at their doorstep. Hopefully there will be some upside to this.
For now Purdue Pharma is still trying to handle this with the utmost focus and while there are bound to be challenges, there might also be a silver lining for the company too. But until that happens we will have to wait and see what approach they will take with the other lawsuits!
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