Purdue and Their Opioids

Dark businessmen
Photo by FangXiaNuo/iStockPhoto.com

Many people have heard of Purdue Pharma and how the owners, the Sacklers, were the ring leaders in fueling the opioid epidemic that has been ongoing since the 1990s. Purdue, headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, was a privately owned company that told many lies and now is paying the price for its misconduct.

Purdue Pharma was originally called Purdue Frederick Company. It was founded by John Purdue Gray and George Frederick Bingham in 1892, selling earwax removal products and laxatives. It wasn’t until 1952 that the Sackler family took over and spent the next several decades making opioid pain medications.

Over time Purdue grew their empire. It may seem as if they stopped caring about their clients and only cared about the profits. They not only misinformed the medical community about the risks of OxyContin, but they also had not done any clinical studies on how addictive or how prone Oxycontin might be to abuse when they first released it in 1996. In just 4 years, OxyContin sales had jumped from $48 million to $1.1 billion.

In the first 6 years of OxyContin being on the market, Purdue spent roughly 6-12 times more on promoting it than any other drug they had produced. Purdue also trained their sales representatives to say that the risk of addiction was “less than one percent.” In 2004, due to Purdue’s aggressive and illegal marketing campaigns that pushed doctors to prescribe the drug, sales soared as OxyContin became one of the leading drugs of abuse. This is what lead to their ultimate demise.

Photo by Jirapong Manustrong/iStockPhoto.com

Purdue has admitted they marketed and sold their opioids to health care providers, even though there was reason to believe the providers were diverting them to known opioid abusers. Not only did they fraudulently increase the amount they were permitted to sell of their products, but they also paid providers kickbacks to encourage them to prescribe even more of their products.

Because of their attempts to defraud the United States, the Sackler family and Purdue Pharma are now facing huge lawsuits and payouts. Purdue has filed for bankruptcy. Both Purdue and the Sackler family are attempting to settle. It is estimated the company and family will have to pay an estimated 5.5 to 6 billion to settle the lawsuits filed by a group of states. However, some states, such as New York, California, and Virginia, want more money and accountability from Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family.

It may be perceived that the Sackler family and Purdue are getting off easy compared to all the damage they caused. This may be true, and their fate is in the hands of the legal system.

Opioids are extremely dangerous and highly addictive, with many becoming addicted in a short time. So that you are aware, here are some of the signs and symptoms of Oxycontin abuse:

  • Euphoria
  • Lightheaded
  • Itching
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Sweating
  • Constricted Pupils
  • Respiration suppression
  • Drowsiness that can get to the point where they’re nodding off

If you or a loved one have become addicted to Oxycontin and are in need of treatment, Narconon is here to help you end the vicious cycle of addiction. Opioids are extremely dangerous and knowing the signs and symptoms could save your loved one’s life. Reach out for help before it’s too late.



Alina Snowden

Originally from Kentucky, Alina decided after changing her life that she wanted to help others understand the dangers of addiction and help families know what to do if their loved one is struggling. She now writes articles to spread awareness and positivity about how those with addiction problems can turn their lives around.