DOCTOR WHO WAS PAID BY PURDUE TO PUSH OPIOIDS TO TESTIFY AGAINST DRUGMAKER | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


DOCTOR WHO WAS PAID BY PURDUE TO PUSH OPIOIDS TO TESTIFY AGAINST DRUGMAKER

A doctor who led the charge for mass prescribing of opioids in the US, and was then paid by Purdue Pharma to help drive sales of OxyContin, is to testify against the drugmaker and other companies facing a raft of lawsuits over America’s opioid epidemic.

Dr Russell Portenoy, who many experts believe did more than any other specialist to erode longstanding caution within the medical profession over prescribing opioids because of addiction fears, has agreed to cooperate with lawyers for cities and counties suing drug makers, distributors and pharmacies in return for dropping legal actions against him.

In a newly released statement to an Ohio court hearing a combined lawsuit of more than 1,600 cases, Portenoy accuses drugmakers of underplaying the dangers of opioids and of pushing them on patients who did not need them. The doctor said the industry overstated the benefits of narcotics painkillers and “understated the risks of opioids, particularly the risk of abuse, addiction and overdose”.

But if he appears as a witness, Portenoy, a professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, will be vulnerable to defense claims he laid the ground for the drugmakers with an evangelical promotion of opioids based on massaged scientific studies he has since repudiated.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Many prescribing physicians do write prescriptions for medications which have NOT been legally released to deal with the kind of medical issues with which you are dealing; but they have been approved for "off book" uses under certain circumstances.

And for many MDs, this is a very simple way of "adding value" to their practice's receivables.

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