Purdue Pharma is facing a lawsuit for fueling the opioid overdose crisis with its top-selling drug, Oxycontin. Purdue allegedly tried to market the drug as non-addictive and promised investors to increase the number of prescriptions in 1996. Now, according to an article in the Daily Mail, a judge is ordering the full release of the lawsuit. The previously heavily redacted document is expected to reveal how the company made its marketing decisions and how much its executives were earning.
Oxycontin is a now-banned painkiller which has been blamed for thousands of overdose deaths. The plaintiffs claim that former Purdue CEO Richard Sackler promised investors at the painkiller’s launch party in the 1990s that it would be followed by a “blizzard of prescriptions that will bury the competition.” The reality became that many of the users of the drug were the ones being buried.
In Massachusetts a state judge considered media outlets’ appeal to see the entire complaint and declared there was no good reason for any elements to be held back from the public, especially in light of a nationwide opioid epidemic. It is anticipated that the document will be released but Purdue still has the right to fight the release with an appeal. The only element that remained redacted was information about a Purdue Pharma employee’s personal medical information.
Oxycontin is a brand name version of oxycodone. Oxy as it’s referred to is an opioid analgesic that acts as a pain reliever. Unlike other oxycodone products, Oxycontin was marketed as having a longer and extended 12-hour release. It essentially contained a higher dose of oxycodone and it soon became clear that a potent dose was highly addictive among users. Some users reported becoming addicted to it within the first two days of use.
Oxy caused patients to request refills with some even turning to street drugs if their doctors refused to fill prescriptions. It turned out the pills were easy to crush and snort while some users boiled the pills to inject the drug into their veins. Oxycontin has become a poster child for the opioid epidemic because of the number of lives it has claimed. It is believed the lawsuit has information about how Purdue marketed the drug to drive up sales.
The Centers for Disease Control says between 1999 and 2017, 700,000 people have died from a drug overdose and around 68 percent of the more than 70,200 drug overdose deaths in 2017 involved an opioid. In 2017 the number of overdose deaths involving opioids was six times higher than in 1999 and on average 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.
As attorneys who represent victims and their families against manufacturers of dangerous products, we encourage and appreciate the judge’s decision to open up the details of this lawsuit to the public so we can all be aware of what motivated this company to aggressively market such a highly addictive drug to consumers. We hope the facts that emerge from this case are a step forward in helping us better understand the realities of opioid abuse.
We represent people who are injured because of the careless and reckless acts of others. At the end of the day your case can only be settled one time and you need to know all of the facts beforehand. The reason that insurance companies have paid our clients in excess of $130,000,000.00 is that we get the facts and are not intimidated at the prospect of going to trial when they refuse to follow the law. We help with serious issues that require serious representation. We are the Law Offices of Guenard & Bozarth. We have over 80 years of experience in our plaintiff’s only law firm. Call GB Legal 24/7/365 at 888-809-1075 or visit www.gblegal.com We Can Help!