We just published a significant investigation into previously unreported aspects of America's bestselling painkiller: OxyContin. A lot has been written over the last 20 years about OxyContin and its role in the nation’s prescription drug epidemic. But our investigation uncovered something totally new.

The drug maker Purdue Pharma launched OxyContin two decades ago with a bold marketing claim: One dose relieves pain for 12 hours, more than twice as long as generic medications. On the strength of that promise, OxyContin became America’s bestselling painkiller, and Purdue reaped more than $31 billion in revenue.

But our investigation found that OxyContin’s stunning success masked a fundamental problem: The drug wears off hours early in many people, exposing them to painful symptoms of withdrawal and an increased risk of addiction.

Harriet Ryan and Matt Lait will be available for an hour starting at 11 a.m. PT to answer your questions. Ask us anything.

Read the investigation and watch a 2-minute video summary here.


UPDATE: Thanks for all the questions, everyone! We'll check back in later this afternoon to answer more questions, so please keep them coming.

A few more links in case you missed them: If you've had an experience with Oxy or know someone who has, we'd like to hear about it.

Plus, Purdue said our investigation “got it wrong.” Here's our response.

SECOND UPDATE: Hey everyone – we received a lot more questions, so we're hopping back in here!

THIRD UPDATE: Alright, we're officially hopping off, but please feel free to keep posting more questions. We'll come back one more time later today to answer a few more. Thanks for a great discussion, everyone.

Comments: 2866 • Responses: 2  • Date: 

losangelestimes10 karma

Passing along another question from Twitter:

“why are the sales of painkillers on the rise? Aren't we living "better" and more comfortable lives than we used to?”


losangelestimes4 karma

Here's a question from Twitter for our reporters:

“Why is it still legal?”