OxyContin is one of the best selling prescription pain medication on the market today. Due to the drug’s extended release capabilities, it offers patients up to 12 hours of pain relief with just one pill. However, this same attribute makes it a favorite among those looking for a quick and easy high. In fact, so many people have become addicted to the drug that the State of Kentucky brought a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the drug, Purdue Pharmaceuticals.
According to a report by Insurance Journal, the lawsuit was filed in a small, rural Kentucky courthouse where many of the residents have been, or know people who have been, addicted to the drug. The claim alleges that the manufacturer misled doctors and pharmacists into believing that the drug was a less addictive and equally effective alternative to other pain medications. However, recent research has proven those assertions to be patently false.
Kentucky, West Virginia, and Tennessee are three of the top five states for use of prescription pain medication, and Purdue Pharmaceuticals is claiming that they will not be able to receive a fair trial in Kentucky as a result. However, in a series of preliminary decisions, the presiding judge seems likely to require Purdue to take the case to trial in the rural Kentucky town.
The Problem with OxyContin
Many pain killers have the potential for abuse. However, what makes OxyContin different is that its “extended release” feature can easily be defeated by simply crushing the pill. This allows someone looking to get high off of the drug to simply crush the pill and then snort it, effectively getting the full effect of the extended release drug in a short amount of time.
Along with the high, however, the drug brings the potential for abuse as well as a serious threat of overdose. In fact, several of the people interviewed in the Insurance Journal article recall going to up to three funerals a week for friends and family who had become addicted to OxyContin and died as a result.
Pharmaceutical Liability for Dangerous Drugs
When a pharmaceutical company manufactures a dangerous drug—whether it is inherently dangerous or susceptible to abuse—it may be held liable for damages that are caused as a result. In most cases, simply manufacturing a drug that is prone to abuse will not result in a verdict against the manufacturer. However, when there is evidence that the company misled prescribing doctors or the public in general about the drug, that may show bad faith, justifying a lawsuit.
Have You Been Injured By a Dangerous Drug?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured by a dangerous pharmaceutical drug, you may be entitled to monetary damages. Damages may include compensation for your past medical bills, any future medical expenses, and other damages related to your injuries. Contact our office at 800-753-5529 to set up a free consultation with a dedicated personal injury attorney today.
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