The Dangers of Marketing Addictive Drugs

New findings about the pressure to sell OxyContin reveal a lot about the opioid crisis.

by VICE Staff
04 February 2019, 2:56am

Stock photo of pills by Flickr user Brandon Giesbrecht

This article originally appeared on VICE US.

The pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma began selling OxyContin in 1996. By 2001, it was already clear that addiction and overdoses related to the painkiller were on the rise. Despite the data, however, the company—and its CEO, Richard Sackler—continued to aggressively push the drug. Now, a barrage of lawsuits have been filed against the company for its role in the opioid crisis.

As reporter and author Maia Szalavitz explained in a recent piece for TONIC, newly released documents shine a light on Purdue's history of recklessly marketing OxyContin—and the effects of that marketing are real and dangerous. On this episode of The VICE Guide To Right Now Podcast, we sat down with Szalavitz to learn more.

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Opioid Crisis
Purdue Pharma