Absolute must-read: LA Times on the myth of OxyContin’s 12-hour analgesic effect
Quick: how long does a dose of Oxycontin provide pain relief? Most clinicians would probably say 12 hours, since the drug was extensively marketed as a twice-daily opioid analgesic and the manufacturer — Purdue Pharma — cited this originally unique convenience factor as justifying its high cost, which could exceed $630 a bottle. In an explosive and masterfully written investigative piece by Harriet Ryan, Lisa Girion and Scott Glover, the Los Angeles Times reported this week that in most patients the duration of the analgesic effect for OxyContin does not last nearly as long as claimed, and that this discrepancy may bear a large part of the blame for the current epidemic of opioid-related overdoses and deaths. The paper makes a number of bombshell allegations: Purdue Pharma has known about this so-called “12-hour problem” from the time the drug began to be marketed, since early clinical trials had indicated that in many patients pain relief lasted only 8 hours or less. Despite this, Purdue aggressively insisted that Oxycontin should only be prescribed for bid (twice daily) dosage to maintain a competitive business advantage. The company and its sales representatives told physicians that if patients complained that pain relief wore off earlier than 12 hours, they should prescribe a higher bid dose rather than increasing the dosing frequency. As a result, many patients ended up on dangerously high doses of Oxycontin, were at increased risk for overdose, wer...
Source: The Poison Review - Category: Toxicology Authors: Leon Gussow Tags: Best of TPR Medical 12-hour myth Los Angeles Times opiate opioid addiction oxycontin Purdue Pharma Source Type: news
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