5/27/2014 8:32:33 AM
Are drugmakers responsible for an epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse? A new lawsuit alleges that 20 years ago, pharmaceutical companies set out to turn drugs that were narrowly prescribed for short-term acute pain into commonplace remedies for such conditions as arthritis and back pain, downplaying the risk of addiction. The suit, brought by two counties in California against five drug companies, claims that “a common, sophisticated, and deeply deceptive marketing campaign that continues to the present, set out to, and did, reverse the popular and medical understanding of opioids.” The defendants include companies that have made billions selling widely used painkillers such as OxyContin, Percocet, and Actiq.
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