Thursday, July 19, 2001

OxyContin maker defends strong pill

By Amanda York
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The makers of the prescription painkiller OxyContin say if attorneys are permitted to dictate how doctors treat patients, then there's a serious problem.

        That response came as a result of a Middlesboro, Ky., lawyer's request for a temporary restraining order and injunction that would restrict 80-milligram OxyContin tablets to hospitals and hospice organizations.

        “Any attempt by lawyers to try and dictate to patients and physicians what medication they should have is an affront to sound medical care,” said Dr. J. David Haddox, senior medical director of health policy for Purdue Pharma.

        Attorney Bill Hayes filed the request July 6 in Clay County in his lawsuit on behalf of seven plaintiffs.

        Mr. Hayes said he expected Purdue Pharma, the Stamford, Conn.-based company that manufactures the drug, to fight as long as it could. He said Purdue's refusal to limit the 80-milligram tablets proved the company was “not interested in pain relief but interested in sales.”

        OxyContin has come under scrutiny because of widespread reports of abuse and addiction.

        Purdue officials defended the 80-milligram tablet, saying thousands of chronic pain patients in Kentucky needed it.

        “By this injunction, those Kentuckians who suffer from moderate to severe pain caused by devastating disease or injury could potentially be denied a drug that relieves pain and provides them a better quality of life,” Dr. Haddox said.


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- OxyContin maker defends strong pill
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