OxyContin-maker Purdue Pharma LP is exploring bankruptcy to prepare for the thousands of lawsuits filed against the company, Reuters reported early this morning. An official statement has yet to be released by the private pharmaceutical company regarding its financial or legal strategy. Most of the lawsuits filed against Purdue claim that the manufacturer contributed to the deadly opioid crisis sweeping the US.
Purdue Pharma Explores Chapter 11
According to the sources that spoke to the Reuters journalist, a Purdue bankruptcy isn’t certain. The potential move shows how the pharmaceutical company is under pressure responding to mounting litigation accusing Purdue of misleading patients and doctors about the associated risk of prolonged use of its opioid substance. The pharma company has also been telling its sales reps to advise the doctor to prescribe the highest dosage since it was more profitable for the company.
“As a privately-held company, it has been Purdue Pharma’s longstanding policy not to comment on our financial or legal strategy,” Purdue said in a statement.
Purdue Pharma has denied any wrongdoing. The company states its medication has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and has the necessary labels about the risk of abuse and misuse with pain treatments. An Ohio federal court currently has more than 1,600 lawsuits pending that accuse Purdue Pharma and other opioid manufacturers of the deceptive practices and mishandling of its narcotic drugs.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse in the US, more than 130 people in the US die after overdosing on opioids a day. In 2017, more than 47,000 Americans died as a result of an opioid overdose including prescription narcotics, heroin, illicitly manufactured fentanyl, and a powerful synthetic opioid. That same year, NIDA reports that an estimated 1.7 million people in the US suffered from substance abuse disorders related to prescription to opioids pain killers.
The government has been heavily monitoring physicians and how they are handling narcotic prescribing, but it seems pressure is now also being brought down on the makers of these narcotics. It still remains unknown if Purdue Pharma will apply for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but with thousands of lawsuits headed its way, it may be the smartest thing to do.
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