By The Editorial Board
Original Source: ocregister.com
Did marketing cause the opioid epidemic?
Purdue Pharma, maker of the painkiller drug OxyContin, has agreed to stop marketing opioid drugs to doctors.
OxyContin, a timed-release version of oxycodone, was first approved in 1995. The company marketed the drug aggressively, inviting doctors, nurses and pharmacists to all-expense-paid conferences at resorts in California, Florida and Arizona. Sales reps received generous bonuses tied to OxyContin sales, creating incentives for more visits to physicians who treated chronic pain. Sales of the drug rose from $48 million in 1996 to nearly $1.1 billion in 2000 and continued to climb. In 2001, Purdue paid $40 million in sales-incentive bonuses.
But by 2004, OxyContin had become a significant drug of abuse. Users were able to obtain a heroin-like high by…click here to continue reading