Did Purdue Pharma Influence Government Pain Guides Inappropriately to Sell More OxyContin?

In this interesting article the Clarion-Ledger asks whether Purdue Pharma influenced a 2000 pain management study which encouraged doctors to treat pain more aggressively with opioids than they had been. The study was then used by government to set specific guidelines for treatment.

This more aggressive treatment meant more sales of Purdue’s new drug, OxyContin.

The article mentions also that, “In 2007 three Purdue executives pleaded guilty to criminal charges for their role in ‘misbranding’ the opioid OxyContin, wrongly claiming it was less addictive than other opioids and that it did not cause euphoria.”

I must admit that I was not clued until recently into the very difficult situation many communities face with these powerful drugs. In parts of the South and Midwest police and health systems are severely taxed due to illicit use.

I am for the legalization of drugs, and I feel deeply for those who suffer from chronic pain. Those who must deal with spinal pain, or burns, or any number of horrible conditions I think SHOULD be treated aggressively. Pain can push some people to terrible places and this must be fought.

But one wonders why such a powerfully addictive drug has essentially been “pushed” officially when other must less addictive and less expensive alternatives exist.

Saying this the last biology course I took was in high school.

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