I'm not fully understanding the highlighted part. Are you saying it is addictive, but Purdue downplayed/denied that it was? If so, the addictive qualities of the drug was the problem and was fostered by the lack of disclosure, yes?Quick clarification point here:
In the 22 years I've been working in the patient-facing side of the pharmacy industry, oxycodone, in ALL its forms, has been a Schedule-II narcotic, which is the "lowest" schedule of a controlled substance that is available in the professional settin, because they carry the biggest risk of long-term addiction and have only minimal medicinal value by comparison (the "lowest" schedule is for drugs that are considered to have no real medicinal qualities and carry the highest risk of long-term dependence).
Oxycontin, which is at the heart of the opioid epidemic, is a controlled-release (or extended release) version of oxycodone that is designed to release the entire dose over an extended period of time in the hope of achieving a constant level of the drug in the system. The problem wasn't that it was addictive, it's that the manufacturer (Purdue) stated that it didn't carry the high risk of long-term dependence that they knew it did. Oxycodone, by itself, is a widely used pain treatment across the medical industry. It's also sometimes called Roxicodone or Oxy-IR, where the IR stands for immediate release; in other words, it gives it to you all at once, then your system clears it and you have to take more, if needed, for short periods (mostly) . Oxycontin use, by and large, required regular dosing and would lead to patients requiring higher doses as time went on, especially in cases of misuse, because their bodies began to need more, and more often. It's almost literally synthetic heroin, if that gives you any idea of the difference between having it constantly in your system, at a steady dose, versus having to dose periodically because the level within the body was always decreasing.
Any drug can be habit-forming, at least on some level, but a lot of the "fun" drugs are CII-V, and as the schedule number decreases, the risk of addiction increases. And those are assigned by the DEA, so the drug companies can't even really say they sold them as having a low risk of addiction when they have to be transparent with the DEA about how addictive the medication can be. Purdue's crime was not showing what that addiction could look like AND pushing prescribers to order it for all of their long-term pain patients, instead of just for long-term pain patients with cancer or other terminal issues, which it originally intended to target. Overprescribing of Oxycontin, more than anything else, is what led to the epidemic; there's a reason you can't get the liquid version on the streets that easily, or something like hydromorphone (Dilaudid) or fentanyl patches.