The latest lawsuit, filed by Alabama last week, claimed the pharma company deceptively marketed prescription opioids. Purdue officials confirmed in November that they are in settlement talks with a group of state attorneys general and trying to come up with a global resolution of the government opioid claims. The report released Monday concluded that the top opioid manufacturers helped fund advocacy organizations in the anti-pain sphere.
OxyContin has always been the world's top-selling opioid painkiller, bringing in billions in sales for privately-held Purdue, which also sells a newer and longer-lasting opioid drug called Hysingla.
"Our report indicates that in some instances they are merely fronting for these manufacturers, especially if you look at the lobbying they've done against restricting prescribing levels of opioids", she said. The request was sent past year to five companies: Purdue Pharma; Insys Therapeutics; Janssen Pharmaceuticals, owned by Johnson & Johnson; Mylan; and Depomed.
"These guys and others created this huge opioid epidemic in our country, and they need to clean up the mess", Moore said.
Purdue Pharma has made billions of dollars from sales of Oxycontin since the drug's approval in 1995. Use of the drug in the US has spread and with it has abusers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids were involved in more than 42,000 deaths in the U.S.in 2016. Deaths from prescription drugs alone have quadrupled since 1999, the CDC reported.
Purdue was by far the largest donor to outside advocacy groups, which often bill themselves as grass-roots organizations supporting patients struggling with chronic pain.
The pharma company also laid off half of its sales staff, according to reports. Dr. Montalvo prescribes prescription opioids to his patients when needed and has had to deal with sales representatives from major pharmaceutical companies for years.
Purdue agreed to may over $630 million after pleading guilty in 2007 to misrepresenting how addictive OxyContin can be.
A company spokesman declined to comment.
Still, the damage wreaked on USA communities by opioid overdose deaths has been clear for some years. Janssen told the AP the company acted responsibly; Mylan objected to being included because of its "minuscule role" in opioid sales and marketing; while calls and emails to Depomed were not returned.