Feb 21, 2019 - Health

Richard Sackler endorsed plan to mislead about OxyContin's potency

OxyContin pills lay on a table with a bottle on its side.

Purdue Pharma makes OxyContin, the pills shown above. Photo: Liz O. Baylen/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Richard Sackler, the former president of Purdue Pharma, agreed with his head of sales and marketing in 1997 not to alert doctors that OxyContin is a stronger painkiller than morphine, according to secret court documents obtained by David Armstrong of ProPublica and Stat News.

Why it matters: The deception around OxyContin, a drug that many say has fueled the country's opioid crisis, appears to have gone all the way to the top to include the billionaire family that founded Purdue.

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