OxyContin, also known as “hillbilly heroin,” is an effective drug for pain sufferers but also a highly coveted addictive opiate. Just ask Rush Limbaugh. Now the company that makes “Oxy” will have to pay $634.5 million in Justice Department fines for claiming that the painkiller, which has been linked to hundreds of overdose deaths, is less addictive and subject to abuse than the competition.
Los Angeles Times:
The maker of the painkiller OxyContin and three of the company’s top current and former executives will pay $634.5 million in fines after pleading guilty Thursday to charges that they misled the public about the drug.
A Justice Department spokeswoman said it was one of the largest financial penalties ever assessed against a drug maker.
Stamford, Conn.-based Purdue Pharma was accused of making claims that OxyContin was less addictive and less subject to abuse than other pain medications and continued to do so despite warnings to the contrary from doctors, the media and members of its own sales force.