"Improving patients' lives and serving the healthcare community?"
By adding to the nationwide death rate from drug overdoses?
We Are Responsible Corporate Citizens
But of course you are, patient care and safety trumps the bottom line, doesn't it
Overdose Death Rate Surges, Legal Drugs Are Mostly to BlameIf corporations are people, then why do they escape punishment for pushing a deadly drug while you or me would get sent to the slammer for mere possession of marijuana?
Oxycontin, Lorcet, and other pain control drugs are the leading cause of the tens of thousands of annual drug overdoses -- why the silence?
According to a little noticed January report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), drug overdoses killed more than 33,000 people in 2005, the last year for which firm data are available. That makes drug overdose the second leading cause of accidental death, behind only motor vehicle accidents (43,667) and ahead of firearms deaths (30,694).
What's more disturbing is that the 2005 figures are only the latest in such a seemingly inexorable increase in overdose deaths that the eras of the 1970s heroin epidemic and the 1980s crack wave pale in comparison. According to the CDC, some 10,000 died of overdoses in 1990; by 1999, that number had hit 20,000; and in the six years between then and 2005, it increased by more than 60%.
07/19/07 - Over 500 names on this VICTIMS page and it closes on the day the Purdue Criminals are sentenced in Court.These lost souls are breaking the speed limit to get another 'fix.'
April 2002 report from the Drug Enforcement Administration that OxyContin might have played a role in 464 drug overdose deaths in a two-year period.
11/02/01 DEA Links OxyContin to 282 Deaths
A common slang term used to define oxycontin, a prescription sustained-release opioid-analgesic marketed by Purdue Pharma. It is comprised of the active ingredient oxycodone, and an inert filler. Available dosages range from 10-80mg. 160mg pills used to be available but were pulled from the market. It does not contain acetaminophen as Percocet, Endocet do. This makes it particularly desirable to those who wish to use it for 'off-label' purposes.
By 2001, OxyContin was the best-selling non-generic narcotic pain reliever in the U.S.; 2008 sales in the U.S. totaled $2.5 billion. An analysis of data from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration found that retail sales of oxycodone "jumped nearly six-fold between 1997 and 2005.
In the United States, prescriptions have increased over the past decade to 3.4 billion annually, a 61 percent increase. The retail sales of prescription drugs jumped 250 percent from $72 billion to $250 billion, while the average price of prescriptions has more than doubled from $30 to $68.
A dangerous misconception in the United States, among both patients and physicians, is that when you're sick you need a drug to feel better, but drugs are overused and over-prescribed, even in cases where the risks far exceed any potential benefits. A study from the New England Journal of Medicine (November 2010) found absolutely no correlation between spending more on drugs and improved patient outcomes. (Maggie Fox, "More Drugs Do Not Always Mean Better Care: Studies," Reuters, November 3 2010)
You might think, at least, that the rise of prescription drug distribution and consumption of pills makes America a healthier nation. But, with all these drugs, many people are not in stellar health. Instead, chronic disease rates are rising as evidenced in a study conducted by Columbia University health policy professors Peter A. Muennig and Sherry A. Glied and published in the academic journal Health Affairs.
The study revealed that the United States now ranks 49th for male and female life expectancy worldwide, a ranking that has fallen sharply from fifth place in 1950.(Sahil Kapur, "US Slips to 49th in Life Expectancy," Healthcare-Now, October 25 2010)
In 2005 money spent on pharmaceutical marketing in the US was estimated at $29.9 billion with one estimate as high as $57 billion.
According to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, pharmaceutical companies spent $900 million on lobbying between 1998 and 2005, more than any other industry.
Hillbilly heroin: the painkiller abuse wrecking lives in West Virginia
In this part of West Virginia, and the neighbouring hill counties of Virginia and Kentucky, they call it "hillbilly heroin" or "poor man's heroin". They also call it a plague. In the past two years it has caused scores of deaths in the region in the form of overdoses, suicides and car wrecks. In the words of Michael Pratt, a Kentucky prosecutor trying in vain to combat its influence: "The bodies are stacking up like cordwood".
The high rate of injuries and chronic pain among workers in the local mining and logging industries means that it found its way into a lot of bathroom cupboards.
OxyContin represents the worst single-drug outbreak the US has seen since the 19th century, when opiates were the most prescribed medicine in the country, and morphine or opium addiction was rampant.