It was attention-grabbing when California sued a handful of drugmakers, accusing them of lying about the safety of their high-powered painkillers and blaming them for an epidemic of prescription drug overdoses and a resurgence in heroin use. But from a legal standpoint, a California judge has ruled, there is not much there to stand on.
When it comes to abuse-deterrent opioid painkillers, Purdue Pharma has the advantage--and it's touting that advantage with its latest marketing initiative.
Purdue Pharma now has FDA permission to market highly controversial opioid painkiller OxyContin to an even younger population.
The city of Chicago made big news when it sued 5 drugmakers, alleging that their painkiller marketing broke the law. But much of the juicy detail in that lawsuit was hidden from view, redacted under a confidentiality agreement with the companies. Now, it's open for viewing.
Which doctors to flag for reckless OxyContin prescribing may soon be a decision that's out of maker Purdue Pharma's hands, at least in California. Thursday, a spokesman from Purdue Pharma confirmed that the company had turned over a list of 49 California doctors it suspected of risky script-writing to the Medical Board of California.
California is pushing some new legislation that drugmakers and physicians were none too happy with in its original form. But after some amendments, a slate of reforms to increase authorities' powers to crack down on risky narcotics prescribers has made its way to the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown. The three bills now await his signature to make them law.
Now that Purdue Pharma has acknowledged news reports that it compiled a list of 1,800 doctors suspected of churning out OxyContin prescriptions for addicts and drug dealers, the political fallout has begun.
Purdue Pharma has a database of doctors who prescribe a lot of its painkiller OxyContin. On the face of it, that's not much of a statement, but in this case, the list of more than 1,800 comprises doctors suspected of recklessly writing scripts for addicts and drug dealers, the Los Angeles Times reports.
For months FDA regulators have been wrestling with the dangers of allowing a flood of cheap, generic version of the highly addictive OxyContin on the market vs. consumers with pain issues having access to cheaper meds.
Purdue's original patent on the superpotent and often abused painkiller OyxContin expires tomorrow, and drugmakers are jockeying for a piece of its $2.8 billion market share. But the FDA is under increasing pressure to require generic drugmakers to make their formulations tamper-resistant.