Approval of OxyContin, the drug that “arguably opened the floodgates of the opioid epidemic,” came with a misleading sentence that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allowed in the drug’s official label, Caitlin Esch reported for Marketplace last month. Her report, based on court files she unearthed, was excerpted this week on West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s “Inside Appalachia.”
On page 15 of the 21-page official label FDA approved for OxyContin in 1995 was this sentence: “Delayed absorption as provided by Oxycotin tablets is believed to reduce the abuse liability of a drug.” A drug, not the drug; Purdue Pharma, its manufacturer, had done no research on its potential for addiction. Another sentence said addiction was rare under a doctor’s care, but the study wasn’t based on OxyContin.
Read more: Court files help show how FDA enabled opioid epidemic