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Not Out of Largesse: Big Pharma's (Very Addictive) Wonder Drug

by Abby Zimet

With the patent on OxyContin due to expire soon and almost $3 billion in sales at stake, Motherboard looks at the insidious ways that Purdue Pharma got America hooked, from its touting of time-release effects and controversial trials for kids to a PR blitz encompassing speaker-training conferences, all-expenses-paid symposia, starter coupons, public endorsements, a website full of spin and much dubious advertising in the form of a “public service” program that sang its praises. Worst, the company once dismissed the risks of an addiction that is now known to "bring addicts to their knees," and which has seen the death rate from opioids overdoses triple in just 15 years to now surpass the combined overdose deaths of cocaine and heroin. Today, it's increasingly said Purdue had to know "what the deal was."