OxyContin

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OxyContin Maker Kept a Dark Secret: Confidential Report

Execs knew early that patients were abusing drug, says New York Times

(Newser) - The company behind OxyContin may have a little secret—that it knew early on about people abusing its powerful painkilling drug and said nothing, the New York Times reports. Purdue Pharma executives received reports of "significant" abuse soon after Oxycontin's 1996 release, including people stealing and snorting the... More »

He Became a Billionaire, Dies on Way to Rehab at 54

Matthew Mellon bet big on cryptocurrencies, but battled an OxyContin addiction

(Newser) - Matthew Mellon, the banking heir whose cryptocurrency investment paid off big-time, has died in Cancun, Mexico. He was 54. A family rep issued the following statement to Page Six : "Mellon made his fortune in cryptocurrency, turning a $2 million investment into $1 billion. He is survived by his three... More »

OxyContin Maker Ends Industry-Changing Strategy

Purdue Pharma will no longer promote the painkiller to doctors

(Newser) - The medical website STAT sees it as the "end of an era"—the maker of OxyContin is going to stop promoting the opioid to doctors. As Bloomberg reports, Purdue Pharma is cutting its sales staff in half to 200 employees and will no longer send representatives to doctors'... More »

Major Insurer Takes Big Step on OxyContin

Cigna will stop covering most prescriptions

(Newser) - A big change for a huge insurance company: Starting Jan. 1, Cigna will stop covering most OxyContin prescriptions in its group plans. OxyContin, an opioid painkiller, is an extended-release version of oxycodone; extended-release versions contain a higher dose of the active ingredients, which can make them ripe for abuse as... More »

The Letter From 37 Years Ago That Spurred the Opioid Crisis

Doctor's note claimed addiction was 'rare,' and other doctors eagerly spread the news

(Newser) - Nearly 40 years ago, a respected doctor wrote a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine with good news: Out of nearly 40,000 patients given powerful pain drugs, only four addictions were documented. Doctors had been wary of opioids, but reassured by the letter, which called addiction "... More »

Maker of OxyContin Sued by Drug-Addled City

Complaint filed by Everett, Wash., says Purdue Pharma valued profits over people

(Newser) - What does a city do when its citizens are wracked with opioid addiction? Sue the maker of one of the most well-known brands is the route Everett is taking, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Washington city of 100,000 north of Seattle filed a complaint Thursday against Purdue Pharma,... More »

OxyContin's Biggest Claim Can Result in 'Hell' for Users

LA Times: It often wears off before 12 hours, creating big problems

(Newser) - One of the huge selling points of OxyContin is that it boasts of keeping users free of pain for 12 hours, thus allowing them to sleep through the night. But an investigation by the Los Angeles Times finds that the claim doesn't hold true for many patients, and when... More »

CDC to Doctors: Cool It With the Painkiller Prescriptions

New recommendations aim to curb opioid abuse

(Newser) - Prescription painkillers should not be a first-choice for treating common ailments like back pain and arthritis, according to new federal guidelines designed to reshape how doctors prescribe drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin. Amid an epidemic of addiction and abuse tied to these powerful opioids drugs, the Centers for Disease Control... More »

11-Year-Olds Can Now Be Prescribed OxyContin

FDA approves drug for severe pain in kids 11 to 16

(Newser) - The FDA has approved the powerful painkiller OxyContin for a new use in children 11 to 16 who are suffering from severe, long-term pain. OxyContin is an extended-release opioid that has long been used to treat around-the-clock pain in adults. But most pain medications are not approved for use in... More »

Addicts Find Ways Around 'Abuse-Deterrent' OxyContin

People find new ways to dissolve the pills—or turn to heroin, study says

(Newser) - When an "abuse-deterrent" version of OxyContin was introduced in 2010, the intent was clear: "to make OxyContin more difficult to solubilize or crush, thus discouraging abuse through injection and inhalation," the New England Journal of Medicine noted in 2012. Made with special binders, the revamped pills would... More »

California Sues: Big Pharma Created Addicts With Lies

Lawsuit alleges slick marketing got people hooked on opioid painkillers

(Newser) - The makers of strong painkillers like OxyContin have created a "population of addicts" with a "campaign of deception" about the risks the drugs carry, two California counties charge in a lawsuit filed on behalf of the whole state. Orange and Santa Clara counties are suing five large makers... More »

You'll Soon Be Able to Buy Heroin Overdose Antidote

Gets FDA's OK

(Newser) - Friends and family will be now able to take the first step to save a loved one from an overdose of heroin or powerful painkillers called opioids, including OxyContin and Vicodin. The Food and Drug Administration has approved an easy-to-use device that automatically injects the right dose of an overdose... More »

Rob Ford Drove Drunk Through School Zones, Partied With Hookers

One begins to wonder how he had time to govern

(Newser) - For your average big city mayor, admitting that you bought illegal drugs while in office would be the most damaging thing to happen in a day—but Rob Ford 's not your average mayor . Soon after a press conference in which the crack-smoking, binge-drinking Toronto mayor claimed his closet... More »

World's Most Popular Drug: Pot

But painkillers behind most deaths

(Newser) - Researchers have, for the first time, conducted a worldwide survey on illegal drug use, and they learned that the most popular one on the planet is marijuana. But the drugs that are killing the most people are strong painkillers, Vicodin, OxyContin, and codeine among them, the AP reports, as per... More »

Oxy Maker Won't Share List of Suspicious Doctors

Purdue Pharma has IDed 1,800 suspect doctors, but only told authorities about 154

(Newser) - The maker of OxyContin has a database of doctors it suspects may be prescribing its pills to addicts and dealers—but it isn't sharing that info with cops, reports the LA Times . Purdue Pharma says it has alerted authorities to 154 suspicious prescribers, but that's only about 8%... More »

Walgreens Slapped With Record $80M Oxy Fine

One small-town pharmacy was ordering 2.2M pills a year

(Newser) - Walgreens made history yesterday ... by being ordered to pay the largest fine in the history of the US Controlled Substances Act. The drugstore empire was slugged for $80 million for "an unprecedented number" of violations in its sale of oxycodone and other controlled substances, following a probe by the... More »

FDA Blocks Generic OxyContin

Move prevents crushable form returning to market

(Newser) - In a big victory for campaigners against prescription drug abuse—as well as for OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma—the FDA has blocked generic drugmakers from making their own versions of the powerful painkiller. The ruling came on the day that Purdue's patent on the old, crushable, and widely abused... More »

Painkiller Deaths Rise Again in US

Increase defies push to curb abuse of drugs such as Vicodin, OxyContin

(Newser) - The number of deaths attributed to abuse of prescription drugs such as Vicodin and OxyContin rose again in the latest federal stats, reports the Los Angeles Times . Those types of drugs are largely responsible for a 3% increase in overall drug fatalities in 2010, say CDC researchers, and preliminary numbers... More »

Fatal Drug ODs Rise 11th Straight Year

Prescription medications at core of problem

(Newser) - Fatal drug overdoses rose for the 11th straight year, federal data show, and most of them were accidents involving addictive painkillers despite growing attention to their risks. "The big picture is that this is a big problem that has gotten much worse quickly," said Dr. Thomas Frieden, head... More »

Forget OxyContin: Opana Now Most-Abused Painkiller

But new formula will cause addicts to seek another drug

(Newser) - The powerful painkiller Opana has replaced OxyContin as the drug of choice for addicts and pharmacy robbers. Users switched to Opana—the trade name for oxymorphone—after OxyContin's maker reformulated its pills to make them harder to snort, chew, or inject for a quick high. But Opana's makers... More »

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