Friday, May 11, 2007

In guilty plea, OxyContin maker to pay $US600 million

[Shades of Heroin, a brand name created by the Bayer company for a product which, about a century ago, Bayer told doctors was a non-addictive substitute for the morphine to which millions of people worldwide were addicted, due to its common use in cough medicines:]

USA: "The company that makes the narcotic painkiller OxyContin and three current and former executives pleaded guilty today in federal court here to criminal charges that they misled regulators, doctors and patients about the drug’s risk of addiction and its potential to be abused ...

"But both experienced drug abusers and novices, including teenagers, soon discovered that chewing an OxyContin tablet or crushing one and then snorting the powder or injecting it with a needle produced a high as powerful as heroin. By 2000, parts of the United States, particularly rural areas, began to see skyrocketing rates of addiction and crime related to use of the drug ...

"Between 1995 and 2001, OxyContin brought in $2.8 billion in revenue for Purdue Pharma, a closely held company based in Stamford, Conn."
NY Times

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