Changes in U.S. physician prescribing habits of the chronic pain painkiller #Oxycontin has caused the widespread use to plummet, taking revenue profits in excess of 30 billion for Perdue Pharma with them.

Follow the money

To offset these losses, Perdue Pharma is going global. They are taking OxyContin on a road trip across the globe. Using the same business model strategies it employed in the U.S. market since 1996. Perdue Pharma is swiftly spreading OxyContin’s reach into Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, Brazil, China, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, and the Philippines.

Doc in the box

Using paid local and international physician leadership and pain and cancer clinics to endorse and validate the message that opiates and OxyContin use have a place in chronic pain management, this academic detailing provides a level of false comfort from these pain ambassadors who teach at conferences worldwide.

Advertisements
Advertisements

Fears

The rising concern is that these countries are not prepared to handle the long-term abuse and addiction of a selected population group. In addition, the cost of OxyContin is in the hundreds of dollars per bottle and offers no advantage over pain management alternatives. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that there is insufficient evidence that opioids and OxyContin relieve pain in patients who take them for more than three months. Opioids account for more than 200,000 U.S. #deaths. Global OxyContin deaths will top 100,000 people from both legal and illicit use.

Pain

Chronic pain affects more than 100 million people in the United States annually, reports the Mayo Clinic. For decades opioids or narcotic analgesics have been the go-to drug for treatment. These agents act quickly, blocking pain signals to provide temporary relief.

Advertisements

They do not treat the underlying cause of the pain. In the meantime, these agents pervasively undermine the body’s breathing mechanism while leading to addiction and potential abuse.

The drug

The chemical cousin of heroin, OxyContin (oxycodone HCL) is a long-acting, extended-release narcotic analgesic opioid with a high risk of addiction and dependence. Death is attributed to the slowing or stoppage of the body's breathing mechanism. This is increased when combined with alcohol or other drugs. As the drug wears off before 12 hours, withdrawal and intense cravings for the drug occurs. A Times investigation revealed that Perdue Pharma knew about the problem before OxyContin came to market, and has since acquired additional evidence and complaints from physicians. #Narcotics