While there is currently no known cure for COVID-19 itself, Purdue Pharma, the maker of the opioid drug Oxycontin, issued a statement recommending Oxycontin for off-label use in treating the symptoms of coronavirus self-quarantine – which may include boredom, frustration, and/or generalized anxiety.
According to Purdue Pharma CEO Craig Landau, anecdotal evidence as to the drug's effectiveness in alleviating self-isolation malaise is extremely promising – especially when Oxycontin is snorted or injected. “Not that we recommend that,” he said.
The statement comes only months after Purdue Pharma settled more than 2,000 lawsuits alleging that the company, through its marketing of addiction-prone drugs like Oxycontin, helped fuel the opioid crisis. "Clearly, we have no financial agenda here," said Landau, whose annual bonus was reduced to a mere $1.3 million following the company’s subsequent declaration of bankruptcy. "Our recommendation for off-label use of Oxycontin is made purely in the public interest. We’re all trying to get through this together.”
Landau added that Oxycontin may likewise be useful in treating those who fear that they may have coronavirus but who are unable to get tested. "Just to help take the edge off," he said.
As fear and anxiety continue to skyrocket amidst the media blitz regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, Landau emphasized that Purdue Pharma will continue to be there to support the public in whatever form necessary – whether that be tablet, chewable, or injectable. “As a society, we are at a critical juncture,” he said. “Americans are going to need medicating more than ever.”