Family With OxyContin Patent Has Another...To Wean Patients Off OxyContin The Sackler family has made billions of dollars off of OxyContin, a prescription pain-management drug. Recently it's been cited when talking about America's opioid crisis.

Now there's a patent out for an opioid-addiction treatment drug. The inventor? Richard Sackler...

What responsibilities do private companies have in fixing problems they effectively helped cause?

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Family With OxyContin Patent Has Another...To Wean Patients Off OxyContin

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Family With OxyContin Patent Has Another...To Wean Patients Off OxyContin

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Family With OxyContin Patent Has Another...To Wean Patients Off OxyContin

Family With OxyContin Patent Has Another...To Wean Patients Off OxyContin

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A user addicted to heroin shoots up on February 6, 2014 in Vermont. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A user addicted to heroin shoots up on February 6, 2014 in Vermont.

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One family has made billions of dollars off of OxyContin, a prescription pain management drug.

The Sackler family owns Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. In its early years, the drug was lauded as a medical breakthrough. Now, however, it's frequently cited when talking about America's opioid crisis.

From The New Yorker:

But OxyContin is a controversial drug. Its sole active ingredient is oxycodone, a chemical cousin of heroin which is up to twice as powerful as morphine. In the past, doctors had been reluctant to prescribe strong opioids—as synthetic drugs derived from opium are known—except for acute cancer pain and end-of-life palliative care, because of a long-standing, and well-founded, fear about the addictive properties of these drugs. "Few drugs are as dangerous as the opioids," David Kessler, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, told me.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports "from 1999 to 2016, more than 200,000 people died in the United States from overdoses related to prescription opioids. Overdose deaths involving prescription opioids were five times higher in 2016 than in 1999."

Now there's a patent out for an opioid-addiction treatment drug.

The inventor? Richard Sackler...

What responsibilities do private companies have in fixing problems they effectively helped cause?