Purdue must release secret OxyContin marketing files, court rules

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma must release the secret marketing records of its powerful opioid, a Kentucky appeals court ruled Dec. 14, according to STAT news.

A three-judge panel upheld a lower court decision, which said Purdue must unseal the deposition of former president Richard Sacklar along with about 17 million pages of other documents, including internal emails and marketing strategies.

The unanimous decision comes as a victory for STAT, which filed a motion more than two years ago to release the records. STAT won a lower court order to release the documents in May 2016, but as soon as Purdue appealed the decision, a judge stayed the order, keeping the documents under wraps.

"We’re tremendously encouraged by this ruling," said Rick Berke,  executive editor of STAT. "More than two years after we filed this suit, the scourge of opioid addiction has grown worse, and the questions have grown about Purdue’s practices in marketing OxyContin. It is vital that that we all learn as much as possible about the culpability of Purdue, and the consequences of the company’s decisions on the health of Americans."

Despite the ruling, the documents will not be made public immediately. Purdue has 30 days to appeal the decision to the Kentucky Supreme Court.

More articles on opioids:
Babies born with opioid withdrawal syndrome have smaller heads, study finds
Opioids top culprit as overdose deaths increase 54% from 2011-16, study finds
Scientists use Google search to 'predict' heroin overdoses


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