I’m 42. I often like to sleep on my side. Every so often, I wake up with a sore shoulder. As best as I can figure out, it’s from nothing more than my body weight resting on my shoulder for several hours.
But those doctors that are incentivized are known as “thought leaders” and they helped the drug companies convince other doctors that opiates weren’t really that addictive. The pharmaceutical companies found a letter written to the NEJM in the ‘80’s from doctor that observed that patients receiving opiate pain meds in a hospital inpatient setting didn’t typically seek drugs and become addicted after release, and conflated that into a “landmark study that proved opiates weren’t inherently addictive.” They funded advocacy groups for pain patients, those groups promoted opioid medications and sometimes threatened doctors with legal action for withholding sufficient pain relief.
The wrongdoing around OxyContin was deeper than just overprescribing.
The big selling point of OxyContin was that it allegedly provided pain relief that lasted 12 hours. The problem was, it didn’t. But when doctors reported that their patients were experiencing breakthrough pain in hours 8-12, Purdue told them to increase the dosage rather than the frequency - I believe they even searched out prescriptions where the doctor instructed 8 hour intervals, and came down on those doctors.
Then there was the whole “targeting addicted communities” thing,
Purdue’s wrongdoing was way deeper than just pressuring a few doctors to overprescribe - no matter how they try to whitewash it,