Purdue Pharma Knew About OxyContin Abuse In 1996, But Covered It Up: Report

Purdue Pharmaceuticals reportedly knew that its opioid drug OxyContin was highly addictive as early as 1996.

The New York Times notes published a confidential Justice Department report showing that Purdue executives were told OxyContin was being abused as a powerful narcotic by addicts, but Purdue executives continued to promoted OxyContin as less addictive than other opioid drugs.

President Donald Trump claimed on May 29 that numbers relating to opioid addiction are “way down,” even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there was an increase of opioid-related deaths and overdoses during Trump’s first year in office.

Barry Meier, who The New York Times article, told Democracy Now about the alleged Purdue cover-up:

Purdue Pharma has claimed that it first became aware of OxyContin’s growing abuse in early 2000. That was about four years after its introduction. In fact, what this document showed is that the company had extensive information about OxyContin’s abuse in 1997, 1998, 1999…

Yes, and concealed that information, didn’t tell the FDA, didn’t tell doctors, didn’t tell patients. And this was a very damning report.

I mean, the crimes were so significant that the prosecutors, who spent four years investigating the company, recommended that three top executives of Purdue Pharma be indicted on a—for a series of felony crimes, like conspiracy to defraud the United States, false statements and things of that nature.

Unfortunately, their efforts were blocked by top administration officials within the Justice Department.

(Sources: Democracy Now, The New York Times)

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