The Opioid Files Inside the opioid industry’s marketing machine


A dozen years ago, the federal government came down hard on Purdue Pharma, fining the drugmaker and three of its executives a record $634 million for misbranding its blockbuster OxyContin pill as safer and less addictive than other painkillers.

In the decade leading up to the 2007 fine, Purdue helped change the culture of prescribing opioids through an extensive marketing campaign that persuaded the medical community that addiction was rare and patients were suffering needlessly, according to recently unsealed corporate documents and plaintiffs attorneys suing two dozen drug companies in a landmark federal case in Cleveland.