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The pharmaceutical company behind OxyContin, Purdue Pharma LP, filed for bankruptcy. OxyContin is one of the most popular prescription opiates in the U.S. Purdue filed for bankruptcy protection with a partial deal aims at resolving thousands of lawsuits it is facing.


Purdue rose in the medical community after it launched its prescription opioid OxyContin in the 1990s. The company became one of the most recognizable names in treating pain. However, in recent years people have been heavily criticizing Purdue and other pharmaceutical companies such as Johnson and Johnson for the role they played in the opioid epidemic.


Purdue is facing lawsuits from almost every state, as well as 2,600 cities, counties, Native American tribes, hospitals, and others seeking justice. The U.S. Justice Department has even launched civil and criminal probes into the company.


The intense scrutiny placed on Purdue comes from its aggressive marking of OxyContin. Those who have filed lawsuits argue that prescription-drug addiction gave way to illicit opioid addiction. Many with opiate addictions first got hooked on prescription pills such as OxyContin, before turning to street drugs such as heroin and fentanyl.


Since it’s launch in 1996, OxyContin has made more than $35 billion in sales. After years of being hounded about the addiction nature, Purdue began selling a version of OxyContin that was harder to abuse in 2010, however many state that the move was too late.


From the beginning, Purdue pushed OxyContin hard. They hired hundreds of sales representatives to call physicians to persuade them to write more prescriptions. They even had a bonus system, which was one of the most lucrative in the industry. Purdue also recruited doctors as paid speakers, funded nonprofits, and blanketed physicians with promotional items such as plush toys shaped like pills.


These days, OxyContin is much harder to get. A few years ago the U.S. shut down the majority of the Pill Mills in the country. Instead of stopping opiate addiction, people turned to street drugs such as heroin and fentanyl, which has now turned into a full-blown epidemic.


If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, contact us today.