Dec 26, 2017

Special report: How one sentence helped set off the opioid crisis

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Your regularly scheduled episode of Marketplace is coming later today, but for now we have a special investigation from the team at The Uncertain Hour.

When OxyContin went to market in 1996, sales reps from Purdue Pharma hit one point particularly…

Your regularly scheduled episode of Marketplace is coming later today, but for now we have a special investigation from the team at The Uncertain Hour.

When OxyContin went to market in 1996, sales reps from Purdue Pharma hit one point particularly hard: Compared to other prescription opioids, this new painkiller was believed to be less likely to be addictive or abused.

But recently unsealed documents in this investigative episode shed light on how the maker of OxyContin seems to have relied more on focus groups than on scientific studies to create an aggressive and misleading marketing campaign that helped fuel the national opioid crisis.