News of the Day ... In Perspective6/25/2005
Purdue Pharma under investigation for sales practices
Federal authorities are investigating Purdue Pharma’s marketing of OxyContin, which was described as “the drug of choice for abusers” in Virginia in 2001.
New York City attorney Paul Hanly, who represents hundreds of clients who have sued Purdue Pharma claiming addiction to OxyContin, said company officials knew of widespread abuse of the drug by crushing, snorting, and injecting it as early as 1997. Lawsuits against the company have mostly been unsuccessful.
According to a GAO report, some company sales representatives received bonuses, totaling $40 million in 2001, for targeting selected doctors. The bonus policy has since been changed.
OxyContin was blamed for 37 overdose deaths in western Virginia in 2004, while 69 deaths were attributed to methadone and 50 to hydrocodone (www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/25390.html ).