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Thursday, January 17, 2019
Oxycontin Manufacturers are feeling the Heat
OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma reportedly owes $7 million to the state of New York, under a new law that assesses opioid sellers $100 million annually over six years.
In addition to opioid makers, the law assesses distributors like McKesson and pharmacies like CVS Health.Related Stories
This summer, protesters converged four times outside the blue-gray glass tower at 201 Tresser Blvd., in downtown Stamford. Their target each time was the building’s largest tenant, drugmaker Purdue Pharma.
On a mid-August morning, hundreds marched with placards of family members and friends who had died of opioid overdoses, which they largely blamed on the maker of the OxyContin painkiller. Several weeks earlier, a local art gallery owner and a friend installed in the driveway a massive spoon stained to represent burnt heroin. A few weeks before, a pair of brothers slide-projected messages on the building condemning the company.
The ongoing opioid crisis now takes to the streets in addition to the efforts of the DEA and other federal agencies. Re-educating physicians has been a major component of this effort with ongoing continuing education. Many physicians will refer patients immediately to pain specialists when the initial pain control methods fail. Typically early pain specialists were anesthesiologist who use pain control methods as an outgrowth of their specialty, anesthesiology. Now primary care physicians are engaged in learning the specific skills for pain management in lieu of opiods. These include nerve blocks, topical agents, physical therapy, mindfulness and other modalities.
Al of these interests have been provoked by the increasing number of opiod related deaths.
The protestors know the firm is not about to face a reckoning in the streets. If it happens, it would likely take place in the judicial system.Stamford-based Purdue Pharma and other companies have sued, the Wall Street Journal reported, arguing New York’s new Opioid Stewardship Act penalizes them unfairly for distributing legal pharmaceuticals.
Alex.Soule@scni.com; 203-842-2545; @casoulman
In additional news Purdue Pharmaceuticals has faced demonstrations by family members of victims of Oxycontin overdoses.