Whistleblower: Purdue Pharma Continued Shady Sales Tactics for OxyContin

Purdue Pharma, which makes the opioid OxyContin, continued deceptive sales tactics after settling a Department of Justice lawsuit for over $630 million in 2007, a former employee said. Carol Panara told CBS News that during her 2008 sales training, she was told to tell doctors that someone in pain could experience addiction-like symptoms known as “pseudoaddiction” and the cure was a higher opioid dose. A 2015 study found no scientific basis for “pseudoaddiction,” but the Food and Drug Administration defended Purdue Pharma’s use of the word. It sent a statement to CBS News, saying “the referenced language in section 9.2 of OxyContin’s labeling is intended to assist prescribers by recommending that they evaluate all patients presenting with drug-seeking behavior... to determine whether the behavior is part of an underlying addiction or if the behavior is related to inadequate pain control.” Purdue Pharma said in a statement that its sales and marketing “have been consistent with the information contained in the FDA-approved label.” Panara spoke with CBS News after Purdue Pharma laid off its sales team earlier this week.