Purdue Pharma, maker of best-selling painkiller OxyContin is accused in a civil suit filed by the state of Kentucky of actions that helped create addiction on a sweeping scale. Many of the abusers went on crime sprees to feed their OxyContin habits and ended up in jail, in public treatment facilities, or dead from overdoses, the state alleges. The company denies all claims but is facing a legal nightmare that could end in a $1 billion judgement against them.
The pharma industry’s free speech stand in a whistleblower lawsuit against Millennium Pharmaceuticals? Not so fast, says the Department of Justice. The First Amendment doesn’t protect speech that spawns illegal conduct, federal prosecutors say in their own brief in the case.
Next month, the FDA’s expert advisers will take another look at Pfizer’s stop-smoking drug Chantix. The official agenda: Weigh new data on Chantix’s links to psychiatric side effects, and consider changing the black-box warning about those risks.