After winning more than 400 dismissals of personal-injury lawsuits and avoiding more than 10 efforts to wage class-actions against it, the maker of the highly addictive painkiller OxyContin may have to pay a devastating $1 billion over allegations that the company contributed to widespread drug addiction.
OxyContin, also known as Hillbilly Heroin, is a powerful opioid painkiller that offers 12 hours of time-released relief, which allows patients to take fewer pills. Drug addicts discovered how to defeat the time-release system as soon as OxyContin hit the market in 1995. By crushing the pills, drug abusers could snort or inject the drug for an intense, immediate high. The drug’s maker, Purdue Pharma, developed a tamper-resistant version of OxyContin in 2010, but a 2012 study found that many addicts simply turned to heroin and other drugs to get high, according to NewsLeader.com. More OxyContin Makers Face Huge Penalty for Allegedly Contributing to Widespread Drug Addiction