Purdue Pharma Pleads Guilty Regarding Opioid Sales
Pharmaceutical company giant and maker of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty to criminal charges concerning misleading information about OxyContin. Specifically, the charges relate to violations in marketing a scheduled drug, false claims to Medicare and Medicaid, and a kickback scheme that urged doctors to promote OxyContin.1 Their penalty includes an estimated $8.3 billion settlement. Members of the Sackler family, the owners of Purdue Pharma, are supposed to pay $225 million in civil penalties. The company itself will be dissolved as well with the intention of creating a new “public benefit corporation.”1 Although Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty, criminal investigations and the federal case against Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family are to continue. The Justice Department has said that they seek to allocate some of the money from these lawsuits to local opioid abatement. This is not the first time Purdue Pharma has run into issues with their business tactics or was penalized for what some believe to be a big role in the development of the opioid crisis in the United States. Lawsuits against Purdue Pharma have been in the works for several years now, but the last time Purdue Pharma plead guilty to federal charges was in 2007.1
Pharmaceutical Companies & The Opioid Epidemic
With the United States in the midst of a serious opioid epidemic and several people in need of opioid addiction treatment, many people are looking for someone to blame. Some people are pointing fingers at big pharmaceutical companies like Purdue Pharma. These pharmaceutical companies are being called out for their deceptive marketing tactics that downplay the addictive nature of opioids and contributing to the nation’s opioid crisis. Although prescribed by a doctor, opioids like OxyContin, morphine, codeine, and more can become addictive if they are misused and used. Approximately 21% to 29% of people prescribed opioids for chronic pain will misuse them, and anywhere from 8% to 12% will develop an opioid use disorder.2 Unfortunately, those who develop a dependency on these drugs and do not enter a prescription drug use program for help may eventually turn to heroin. In fact, about 80% of heroin users had misused prescription opioids first.2 These alarming numbers are why many are so concerned over the misleading marketing tactics of prescription drug companies. Regardless of how you got there, if you or someone you care about is struggling with an addiction to opioids, do not wait to get help. At Vertava Health, we have substance use treatment centers that have been helping people just like you get the help they need to overcome their addictions and move forward with their lives. Contact us today to learn more.