Thursday , August 11 2022

After pushing the addiction of OkiContin, Purdue is now seeking antidote overdoses


If approved, the new drug of Purdue would compete with opioid overdose antidote, naloxone.
Enlarge / T If approved, the new drug of Purdue would compete with opioid overdose antidote, naloxone.

The famous OkiContin plant, Purdue Pharma, which has been widely criticized for misrepresenting its painkiller and its role in fostering the current epidemic of drug abuse and death from overdosage, is moving forward with a new, powerful drug for which it is said to be an antidote for overdose to opioids.

The company announced this week that the US Food and Drug Administration has approved fast tracking of its investigated drug nalmefen hydrochloride (HCl), an injection emergency treatment designed to rescue people suspected of having opioid overdose. Purdue suggests that the effects of nalmefene HCl last longer than a similar emergency opioid naloxone antagonist. As such, the company hopes that nalmefen HCl will outperform naloxone in the reversal of overdoses of the most powerful opioid, namely fentanyl, which is currently triggering alarming numbers of opioid overdose deaths. The FDA's accelerated status will accelerate the development and regulatory overview of the drug.

"Opioid antagonists, such as naloxone, have played an important role in the urgent treatment of opioid overdose," said John Renger, Director of Purdue Research & Development and Regulatory Affairs. "However, due to the increased number of deaths due to fentanyl and its more powerful analogues, we are focusing on a potentially more powerful and longer-lasting rescue option specifically designed to work in such overdose situations."

The death of an extremely strong fentanyl began to grow throughout the country in 2013. In 2017, synthetic narcotics (mainly fentanyl) were behind 40% of over 70,200 deaths from overdose in the country. A sudden increase in the use of fentanyl and overdoses resulted in four-fold use and overdose with prescription drugs, such as OkiContin. As the crisis came to light, opioid regulation began to decline and began to fall in 2012, leading to an increase in illegal use of fentanyl and heroin.

In the midst of the crisis, Purdue was harshly condemned for having initially diminished the dependence of OkiContin, which began aggressively marketing in the mid-1990s, earning a billion dollars in sales. In 2007, the company and three executives pleaded guilty to the federal court for criminal charges that they deceived doctors, patients and regulators in connection with drug addiction. Since then, Purdue has been hit by lawsuits accusing the company of helping to encourage drug abuse and overdose. The company has strongly defended its claims, but now it is considering filing a claim for bankruptcy, which would alleviate the impact of litigation and judgments.

"What's Right"

In a statement this week, Purdue once again encouraged any involvement in initiating the epidemic, focusing exclusively on the illegal use of drugs. Purdue CEO and CEO Craig Landau quoted the problem as "fentanyl mortality and unauthorized opioids continue to increase in the United States, and more and more comes from the overdosing of this class of compounds."

In a recent interview for Washington post, Landau said he expects that Purdue's efforts to cure opioid overdose will be criticized, saying:

I admit that everything we do will be criticized in this regard, but in the end, we will do what is right. These are good things that could and should have a positive impact on public health and patients.

In line with that view, Purdue has announced that he does not intend to make money on a new drug. "As part of Purdue's commitment to uphold meaningful solutions to tackle the opiate crisis, the company will work to use this option with the commitment not to profit from the future sale of this drug."

Nevertheless, according to internal discussions in Purdue published in a lawsuit filed by Massachusetts, Purdue and members of the wealthy Sackler family, the owner of the company, they carefully investigated the potential for money creation in order to reverse the epidemic.

The unregistered part of the lawsuit describes a secret plan called Project Tango, which explored Purdue's extension to the sale of treatment options. The lawsuit states that Purdue and a member of the Sackler family found that millions of people who became opioid addicts are the main business opportunity. Purduwe employees in the internal documents quoted in the lawsuit wrote: "This is an attractive market. The great unmet need for a vulnerable, insufficiently serviceable and stigmatized population of patients suffering from substance abuse, addiction and addiction. "

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