The pharmaceutical company responsible for flooding the United States with the highly addictive painkiller OxyContin has now patented a new drug to treat opioid addiction. Rhodes Technologies Inc. filed for a patent earlier this year for a new form of buprenorphine, a mild opioid marketed under the brand name Suboxone to treat addiction to stronger drugs.
But Rhodes Technologies is a subsidiary of Purdue Pharmaceuticals, whose aggressively marketed drug OxyContin helped fuel the international epidemic of opioid overdoses. Dr. Richard Sackler, a member of the family that controls Purdue, is listed as the inventor of the drug on the patent application. The Sackler family made billions of dollars from the sale of OxyContin.
The connection has caused some addiction services professionals to cry foul. Joe Schrank, the co-founder of Remedy Recovery, a San Francisco center that incorporates cannabis into addiction therapy, is one of them.
“It’s unconscionable that Purdue is allowed to profit from the havoc to which they contributed,” Schrank told High Times via email. “They should be required to give a percentage to treatment options. Cannabis is a far better option and more people should be educated about that.”
Luke Nasta, the director of New York addiction treatment center