As Purdue Pharma faced mounting criticism over deaths linked to OxyContin, rival drugmakers saw a chance to boost sales by stepping up marketing of similarly dangerous painkillers, such as fentanyl, morphine and methadone, Purdue internal documents reveal.
There’s a prescription drug abuse problem sweeping the United States, but fixing it will require a systematic change focused on how most health professionals prescribe drugs, rather than changing the practices of a few bad apples.
It’s a deadly public health crisis. And it’s right here … in Oregon. Oregon leads the nation in the abuse of painkillers.
“Clearly, we have a tragic epidemic right here in our midst,” says Marvin D. Seppala, M.D., chief medical officer, Hazelden Betty Ford Foudation.