OxyContin Drugmaker Thwarted Plan To Limit Opioid Prescriptions In 2001

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OxyContin pills in a Feb. 19, 2013, file photo. (Toby Talbot/AP)

As early as 2001, state officials in West Virginia were seeing warning signs of what would become today’s opioid epidemic, in the form of a surge in deaths linked to oxycodone. They tried to step in and require prior authorization for all OxyContin prescriptions.

But Purdue Pharma, which makes OxyContin, blocked that plan by hiring another company, a middleman, to prevent it from being implemented.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young talks with David Armstrong, senior enterprise reporter at STAT, about how Purdue Pharma managed to prevent the state from limiting OxyContin prescriptions, and the implications of that move.


David Armstrong, senior enterprise reporter at STAT. He tweets @DavidArmstrongX.

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