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US Drugmaker Slapped Huge Fine for Misleading Doctors Over Addictive Painkiller

nd its executives have been brought to justice."

OxyContin is a trade name for oxycodone, and is a time-release painkiller that can be highly addictive. In that variety the ingredients are released over a period of time for sustained effect.

The drug is meant to be swallowed whole and digested over 12 hours. It was later found that the pills can produce a heroin-like high if crushed and then swallowed, snorted or injected.

According to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the number of deaths linked to the use of OxyContin jumped 400 percent between 1996 and 2001. Still, in 2001, Purdue executives testified they had just become aware that the drug was being abused.

In its statement, Purdue Pharma said it accepted responsibility for false statements made about the drug's risks of addiction, abuse, withdrawal and tolerance six years ago, but added, "during the past six years, we have implemented changes to our internal training, compliance and monitoring systems that seek to assure that similar events do not occur again."

Generic firms, including Teva and Endo, had sold generic versions of Oxycontin, but have since stopped making the products and are not accused of any wrongdoing in connection with promoting their products, reports said.


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