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OxyContin is an incredibly addicting painkiller. Until today, however, few realized that the pharmaceutical company which manufactures the drug actually promoted an OxyContin addiction. Roughly 6.3 million Americans report that they’re currently using prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Prescription drug abuse knows no age. The elderly are vulnerable because they’re more likely to take many medications, often long term. Also, women may be as much as 55% more likely as men to be prescribed drugs that can be abused, such as narcotics and tranquilizers; therefore, their risk is greater, according to the NIDA. For more information about painkiller addiction, click here. But now there is relief for the addicted and misled.

The maker of OxyContin and three of its current and former executives have pled guilty to misleading the public about the drug’s high risk of addiction.

U.S. Attorney John Brownlee stated in a news release today that the pharmaceutical company and its executives will pay $634.5 million in fines. The plea comes just two days after the company agreed to pay $19.5 million to 26 states and D.C. to settle complaints that it encouraged physicians to over prescribe OxyContin. “With its OxyContin, Purdue unleashed a highly abusable, addictive, and potentially dangerous drug on an unsuspecting and unknowing public,” Brownlee said. “For these misrepresentations and crimes, Purdue and its executives have been brought to justice.” To read more, click here.

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