OxyContin and other powerful pain medications have ensnared more than two million Americans in a cycle of addiction. One of the reasons why people become addicted to these drugs is because they may have been misled by deceptive advertising. Prescription opioid medications are tied to a rich history of deceptive claims such as, “OxyContin has a low risk of addiction” or “OxyContin provides pain relief for 12 hours.” Oxycontin advertising tactics have attracted the attention of federal lawmakers in the Senate.
Last summer, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass) called on the U.S. Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration to investigate Purdue Pharma’s claims that OxyContin offered 12 hours of pain relief. The senator requested the investigation after the Los Angeles Times published an article suggesting Purdue Pharma had engaged in deceptive advertising by making these claims.
One of Purdue Pharma’s main selling points for OxyContin is that it provides pain relief for 12 hours. According to a Los Angeles Times investigation, patients suffer symptoms of withdrawal when the effects wear off before the 12-hour mark. The Los Angeles Times article also suggests Purdue Pharma told doctors to prescribe stronger doses for patients who complained about the short-lived effects. This would have put patients at higher risk for addiction and overdose.
In addition, the Los Angeles Times reported Purdue Pharma may have known for more than two decades that its popular drug does not last 12 hours, but covered up the information to protect profits. The investigation carried out by the Los Angeles Times included hundreds of internal documents from Purdue Pharma.
Other prominent figures have called out Purdue Pharma for potentially misleading consumers about the effectiveness or dangers of OxyContin. Late last year, television host and comedian John Oliver tore apart Purdue Pharma’s claims that it is safe to use OxyContin for chronic pain, and that the risk of addiction was minimal.
Purdue Pharma continues to face lawsuits for other reasons. The town of Everett in Washington is suing the company for allegedly turning a blind eye to black market sales of the drug. As the legal scrutiny of Purdue Pharma gains more steam, it is possible federal agencies will launch their own investigations into deceptive marketing and other unethical business practices.
Can Purdue Pharma Be Held Accountable for Deceptive OxyContin Advertising?
Individuals and family members who have been harmed by Purdue Pharma should consult with one of the New Jersey defective drug attorneys at Keefe Law Firm. We can help you explore possible legal options for holding Purdue Pharma accountable.