WNPR

How Did America Become So "Dopesick"?

Sep 11, 2018

This hour: pain, pharma, and the birth of a nation plagued by opioid abuse and overdose.

We talk to Beth Macy, author of Dopesick, about her investigation into the development, marketing, and widespread effect of OxyContin -- a prescription drug produced by Stamford, Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma.

To what extent is the company responsible for America’s ongoing opioid addiction crisis? We take an in-depth look and we also hear from you. 

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

GUESTS:

READING LIST:

NPR: What One Journalist Learned From Researching The Causes Of The Opioid Epidemic - "NPR's Ailsa Chang speaks with journalist Beth Macy about her new book Dopesick,after she spent the last three years digging into the causes of the opioid epidemic, from rampant overprescribing of painkillers to stigma of heroin addiction in white suburban communities."

The Stamford Advocate: Connecticut cities sue Purdue Pharma - "Massachusetts’ attorney general and city officials in Norwalk and Danbury announced Tuesday they were suing OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma over alleged deceptive marketing of its drugs, practices the lawsuits said have fueled their states’ opioid crisis."

Statement from Purdue Pharma spokesperson Robert Josephson:

“We share public officials’ concern about the opioid crisis. While Purdue Pharma’s opioid medicines account for less than 2% of total prescriptions, we will continue to work collaboratively with the local jurisdictions and the state toward bringing meaningful solutions to address this public health challenge. 

We vigorously deny the allegations in these lawsuits. These jurisdictions are claiming that Purdue acted improperly by communicating with prescribers about scientific and medical information that FDA has expressly considered and continues to approve. We believe it is inappropriate for these jurisdictions to substitute their judgment for the judgment of the regulatory, scientific and medical experts at FDA. We look forward to presenting our substantial defenses to these claims.”

Chion Wolf contributed to this show.