Once a newspaper of national importance, the Los Angeles Times has become a shadow of its former self. Consider it’s latest Page One investigation into Purdue Pharma. The drug manufacturer's malfeasance? Promoting on-label claims.
Here’s a link to the article and here’s a link to Purdue’s response.
According to Purdue, “In an attempt to resurrect a long-discredited theory, the paper ignores the clinical and regulatory data that directly contradicts their story.”
And they have the facts and citations to prove it. All of it.
Further, “Over the course of two years, Purdue Pharma provided the LAT with more than a dozen hours of briefings and discussions regarding the clinical evidence supporting OxyContin’s 12-hour dosing and the regulatory requirement that we promote the product as such. Unfortunately, the paper disregarded this information, instead publishing a story that’s long on anecdote and short on facts.”
Two years and the Times got the story so wrong? That’s bad news for the paper’s readers who expect and deserve better. Maybe it’s good news for the salivating tort bar. But before they start filing lawsuits, they better get the rest of the story.
For example (per Purdue):
CLAIM: OxyContin has a 12-hour dosing “problem” that puts patients at risk.
FACT: Nearly a decade ago, the FDA cited a lack of clinical evidence when it formally rejected the “fundamental premise” that patients receiving OxyContin at intervals more frequent than twice-daily are at increased risk of “side effects and serious adverse reactions.” In doing so, the agency reinforced the twice-daily labeling for OxyContin. The LAT omitted the findings of this report from its story.
And my favorite:
CLAIM: Purdue should tell physicians to prescribe OxyContin for eight-hour use.
FACT: The FDA prohibits pharmaceutical companies from promoting their products for uses, including dosing, not approved by the agency. Given FDA has not approved OxyContin for eight-hour use, we do not recommend that dosing to prescribers. In fact, a State Attorney General recently cited a peer company for falsely claiming that OxyContin was an eight-hour drug. The LAT omitted this piece of information from its story, falsely claiming that OxyContin was an eight-hour drug. The LAT omitted this piece of information from its story.
Is there a fact checker in the house? Ouch.
There are so many serious issues surrounding opioids that the lack of professionalism by the LA Times is astounding.
I guess the Times ace I-Team can forget about that Pulitzer.