March 9th, 2012
Canada: OxyContin marketing blamed for addiction epidemic
Powerful but misleading marketing that for years pushed the highly addictive painkiller OxyContin has left potentially tens of thousands of Canadians with the burden of addiction, critics claim.
OxyContin helped transform the medical landscape after it was introduced in the late 1990s, touted by doctors and pitched as a less addictive alternative to other opioids.
Cancer patients and others suffering from chronic pain considered the pill — twice as strong as morphine — to be a godsend.
But the CBC’s The Fifth Estate found that as soon as several provinces dropped OxyContin this year as a publicly funded medication and it vanished from shelves, the drug once praised as a blessing became a curse for some addicts.