Segments in this Video

Pain Epidemic (01:27)


Canadians are spending billions on cleverly marketed pain medication, while addiction to OxyContin increases.

OxyContin Introduction (01:39)

Learn how Purdue Pharma marketed the opioid as a slow release chronic pain medication.

Pain Treatment Frontier (02:31)

Vancouver doctor Roman Jovey defends his decision to advocate OxyContin to other healthcare professionals as a "safe" narcotic.

Pain Management Industry (02:04)

Purdue Pharma funded a Canadian pain treatment school and manual. Experts discuss the marketing strategy and profit motive.

OxyContin Prescriptions (02:05)

Chronic pain patient Kim describes the drug’s effect. North American sales skyrocketed in the late '90s as positive reports spread.

OxyContin Addiction (01:36)

Patient tolerance builds rapidly and doctors increase dosage. Tammy describes her attempt to stop taking the narcotic.

OxyContin Epidemic (02:39)

A Virginia substance abuse counselor describes the narcotic's rapid regional spread. Learn how the industry downplayed its addiction risk.

OxyContin Abuse (01:45)

A Lee County sheriff describes increased drug crime related to the opioid.

Purdue Damage Control (01:47)

The company initially denied OxyContin addiction, but offered Lee County money to help fix the drug problem that was spreading throughout Appalachia.

Struggling with Addiction (02:44)

Aggressive marketing, inadequate education, and regulatory failure caused widespread opioid availability. Tammy describes how OxyContin has taken over her life.

Stopping OxyContin Treatment (03:15)

By 1998, Canadian street addicts had begun injecting the pain medication. Methadone clinics help them stabilize their condition.

Opioid Dependency (03:38)

Jovey believes OxyContin benefits outweigh addiction risks. A patient says she's habituated to the medication, but not addicted.

OxyContin Profits (01:30)

U.S. salesmen were accused of understating addiction risks. By 2005, Purdue earned billions from the drug; lobbyists drowned out critics.

OxyContin Justice (01:59)

In 2007, federal prosecutors accused Purdue of lying about addiction risk. The company was fined $600 million—a moral victory that failed to recall the drug.

Targeting Doctors (03:46)

In 2007, Tammy's OxyContin addiction had driven her to steal. Purdue told Canadian physicians the U.S. lawsuit was irrelevant and increased its aggressive marketing strategy.

Public Health Reaction (02:34)

OxyContin sales reached $2.5 billion in 2010. The University of Toronto Medical School has pulled Jovey's book for opioid bias and controversial claims.

Narcotics and Pain Management (01:06)

An Ontario doctor explains why he stopped prescribing OxyContin. Despite medical caution, drug companies are producing other potentially addictive opioids.

Public Health Costs (01:35)

Jovey argues that individuals are responsible for their actions, but Methadone clinics have had to increase capacity since OxyContin was released.

Social Costs (01:56)

Kim has stopped taking OxyContin but Tammy is dependent on the opioid. A Canadian class action lawsuit has been filed against Purdue for misleading information.

Credits: Time Bomb: OxyContin Addiction (01:01)

Credits: Time Bomb: OxyContin Addiction

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Time Bomb: OxyContin Addiction

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It was touted as a miracle pill: a narcotic pain reliever that could change the lives of people suffering from chronic pain, but with little risk of addiction. How did a little pill that appeared in 1996 become so big, so fast? In 1998, Canadian sales were just a few million dollars; twelve years later they had soared to $243 million and U.S. sales were $3.5 billion. This film examines why medical schools, GPs and specialists in pain clinics readily embraced the drug at first, and why some have now changed their minds. The manufacturer has now stopped making it altogether, replacing it with a new formulation known as OxyNeo. (43 minutes)

Length: 43 minutes

Item#: BVL58503

ISBN: 978-0-81608-608-5

Copyright date: ©2012

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA.