Thursday, May 10, 2007

Yet another serious healthcare problem comes to light

According to the AP today, "The maker of the powerful painkiller OxyContin and three of its current and former executives pleaded guilty Thursday to misleading the public about the drug's risk of addiction, a federal prosecutor and the company said...Purdue Pharma L.P. and the executives will pay $634.5 million in fines...the plea comes two days after the Stamford, Conn.-based company agreed to pay $19.5 million to 26 states and the District of Columbia to settle complaints that it encouraged physicians to overprescribe OxyContin"...

Further, "With its OxyContin, Purdue unleashed a highly abusable, addictive, and potentially dangerous drug on an unsuspecting and unkowing public", said U.S. Attorney John Brownlee.

There has been plenty of main stream media coverage of the skyrocketing of Oxycontin abuse in the US...the guilty pleas and settlements are remarkable. The excess cost to the US healthcare system due to overprescription of the drug and treating abuse of the drug, as well as the cost of handling related criminal activity, is likely to be large.

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