Drugmakers Manipulated Med-Tech

Opioid makers teamed up with a tech company to create a computer pop-up alert system designed to maximize—and extend—prescriptions to the addictive painkillers, a government investigation revealed this week, Los Angeles Times reports.
 
Practice Fusion’s software was used by tens of thousands of doctors’ offices from 2016-2019, as the opioid crisis spiraled. Employees estimated the deal could lure in 3,000 new patients and $11.3 million in sales.
 
Practice Fusion admitted to the scheme and paid out $145 million in a settlement. The drugmaker remained unnamed—but Reuters reported that it was Purdue Pharma.
 
Dermatologist Jamie Weisman was disgusted but not surprised by the “evil” setup: “If you want to model electronic health records as a for-profit system and not regulate them as such and force doctors to be on them, it’s almost inevitable that they’re going to be manipulated.”

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