Lawsuit Filed Against Makers of Painkiller OxyContin
Jonesville, VA -- June 29, 2001 -- Former addicts to the painkiller OxyContin and their families have sued the drug's manufacturers, claiming that they failed to warn about OxyContin's serious potential for addiction, according to an Associated Press report. The defendants are Purdue Frederick Co., Purdue Pharma L.P., Purdue Pharma Inc., Abbott Laboratories Inc., and Abbott Laboratories. A class action that asks for $5.2 billion in compensatory damages, the lawsuit also names two doctors who allegedly prescribed the drug with great frequency.
The state of West Virginia is also suing the OxyContin manufacturers (State of West Virginia, Office of Attorney General, click on "In The News", then on "June 2001 Press Releases" and scroll toAttorney General Pioneers Suit Against OxyContin Makers). Attorney General Darrell McGraw, Jr. argues that though they knew the dangers posed by misuse of OxyContin, the manufacturers willingly marketed the product in a deceptive way in hopes of achieving a greater margin of profit and an illegal monopoly on the narcotic pain medication market. He also claims that Purdue offered physicians expense-paid trips to "pain seminars" where they were recruited to give paid speeches, that the company prints misleading advertisements, and that it promotes the inappropriate use of OxyContin for minor pain. Purdue claims that the Attorney General's lawsuit and current charges are groundless.
OxyContin is the brand name for oxycodone hydrochloride, an opioid analgesic that is prescribed in time-release tablet form for chronic pain sufferers and terminal cancer patients. Drug abusers can crush or inject the tablets, however, to get a heroin-like high.
At Brayton Purcell, we are concerned about the hazards of unsafe medical drugs such as oxycontin. Please feel free to contact us, either through this web site or at our offices, if you have any questions about medical drugs and your legal rights.