The maker of the powerful opioid painkiller OxyContin – a prescription drug that has become popular on the black market — once considered the development of an anti-addiction remedy that it could sell to “an attractive market,” as a means for generating profits through a cause and the cure scheme.
Court documents released earlier this week show the offensive nature of which Big Pharma is hell bent on driving more Americans into the grips of addiction.
Purdue Pharma spent years discussing the natural link between the sale of opioids and drugs intended to put “script users” on the mend. Since 2014, the company has been looking to cross “the pain and addiction spectrum,” according to a lawsuit filed this week by the Massachusetts attorney general.
The majority of this push came as a direct order of the Sackler family, which has a controlling interest in the company. Emails collected as part of this case show that America’s richest family wanted “immediate attention” given to what is described as a business opportunity. “There is an opportunity to expand our offering to be an end-to-end pain provider,” one document reads. Other internal memo suggests that there is a “large unmet need for vulnerable, underserved and stigmatized patient population suffering from substance abuse, dependence and addiction.”
This case could serve in showing the insatiable greed embedded in the pharmaceutical trade. So much, in fact, that Purdue Pharma filed a petition on Wednesday in hopes of getting certain aspects of the documentation eliminated from public view. The company stated in its motion that there was a risk of exposing trade secrets and other vital information considered confidential if those records go unredacted.
But that didn’t work out in Purdue’s favor. The court rejected the motion.
Purdue’s mission to create an addition drug goes beyond just trying to capitalize on the scourge of addiction. Documents show that the Sacklers were pushing for the creation of higher doses of Oxycontin, presumably to drive up addiction rates across the nation, all while misleading doctors about the risks associated with the drug. Part of the plan was to start trying to get doctors to prescribe opioids as a stress reliever and as a way to give isolated patients more social enthusiasm.
The company then took their quest to turn the United States into a junkie country by blaming the current addiction rates on the individual users – not the drug itself or the way it was being prescribed.
However, Purdue claims the language of the documents has been taken out of context, and that the lawsuit is just “part of a continuing effort to single out Purdue, blame it for the entire opioid crisis, and try the case in the court of public opinion rather than the justice system,” the company said in a statement.
It is important to point out that although the documents show that Purdue was planning to create addiction remedies (and conjure new uses for opioids) the company did not move forward with those plans. Purdue also considered buying the rights to a popular overdose reversal drug called Narcan, but it never did. Still, the documents reveal how drug company spent the better part of around five years searching for ways to generate higher profits through the opioid epidemic.