Purdue Pharma began its entry into the drug manufacturing world with MS Contin, a morphine drug for cancer patients. When this was threatened by the production of similar generic drugs, the company began searching for replacement sources of revenue and this led to efforts to produce and market OxyContin as a new painkiller that only required two daily doses. The marketing was based on the 12-hour dosing and that patients would have relief for a full 12 hours with no pain and no need to take several pills each day. However, very few if any patients actually receive 12-hour relief, and instead starting feeling intense withdrawal symptoms, prompting them to take another pill prior to the end of the 12-hour period. This process leads directly to addiction - the patients experience unbearable lows, feeling intense cravings for the drug that will provide relief, but only temporarily until the craving returns and the cycle of addiction begins again. Doctors were urged to prescribe OxyContin to all patients with minor aches and pains, even though prior to its entry into the market, narcotic painkillers were really only meant for cancer patients and the terminally ill due to the highly addictive qualities of narcotics. Purdue Pharma did not limit the target patient group, wishing to expand its market, and ultimately its revenues. Patients end up taking more than the prescribed dose because they are in pain and the drug is not working as advertised; not only does this lead to more revenue for the company because patients are requesting more doses, but this is dangerous for the patients who are at a much higher risk of overdose when taking higher doses than are approved by the FDA.
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