New Yorker magazine had a very good piece on the history of Purdue Pharma and its successful marketing of OxyContin. It is worth noting that if the company had not had a government-granted patent monopoly on OxyContin, it would have had little incentive to mislead doctors and the general public about the extent to which the drug was addictive. Misrepresentations of this sort are a predictable and extremely harmful outcome of patent monopolies.