New York Magazine recently published an article on findings that the Purdue Pharma company was aware of its product OxyContin’s popularity and addictive nature long before the company’s executives admitted in testimony under oath. They intentionally ignored and covered up the dangers to exploit consumers and increase their profits.
In the 1990’s, when OxyContin was created, it was dubiously advertised as less addictive than other painkillers and much safer for long-term use than its competitors. Of course, knowing now the opioid crisis America faces, this is not the case. But when asked about their knowledge of their drug’s popularity in the world of drug abuse, Purdue’s top executives said they didn’t know until the early 2000’s.
Then, the Justice Department produced a report with proof that Purdue Pharma knew about OxyContin’s addictive nature and abuse by the late 1990s, only years after the drug was first produced.
Though the administration handling the case at the time did not view it as anything more than a misbranding case, this corporation’s lack of action against the harm its product caused is shameful at the least.