FDA Studies On Opioid Education Were Flawed

Studies on doctor education in the opioid epidemic were flawed, and hindsight, as they say, is 20/20. And although the FDA has lobbied heavy criticism and the pharmaceutical industry has paid fines, they are not without blame. They took years to investigate the makers and distributors of Oxycontin. Instead of protecting consumers, the federal agency instead left its own bumbling paper trail for opioid education oversight, according to a New York Times report. The FDA, documents reveal, did little to stop overprescribing and, in fact, created a study that failed to be accurate by design, according to Caleb Alexander, the senior author of the study. “It’s unclear why the FDA didn’t insist upon a more scientifically rigorous evaluation of this safety program.” This means that it's unclear if any studies were correct. What Studies Were Done on the Safety Programs? In 2007, Congress gave the FDA authority to require drug manufacturers to train physicians to safely prescribe certain dangerous drugs, such as opioids and other addictive painkillers. The bill…

Continue Reading

Oxycontin Makers Sink Claws Into China

A report has come out detailing the marketing moves that Purdue Pharma, the drugmaker responsible for Oxycontin and other variations of opioid, has moved on to China. Of course, it’s no big secret that companies like food and pharmaceutical makers take their wares overseas to new markets. What’s unusual about Purdue’s business moves is that the behavior that cost billions of dollars in US lawsuits is now being deployed in China. Boosting Sales and Breaking Laws in China Stat News claims that when sales began to crash due to the opioid crisis, the Sacklers and their subsidiaries set their eyes on the global market. In China, Purdue’s international pharma dealer, Mundipharma, pushed for profits over ethics without fail. While the profit scheme unraveled very publicly in the US courts, quietly, Purdue Pharma began marketing elsewhere. Current and former employees told the Associated Press about the stunts they pulled to sell more Oxycontin and other drugs. The reps described how managers tried to boost profits by prying into the patient’s…

Continue Reading

House Will Vote to Potentially Ban Kratom, Synthetics

The House of Representatives faces nearly two dozen votes on new drug-related bills in an effort to stem the addiction epidemic. Among those bills is H.R. 2851, The Stop Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues (SITSA) Act, a bill aimed at Kratom and other synthetic drug imports, even those that have not been created yet. The bill, if passed and made into law, will significantly expand the powers of the Department of Justice, under the guise of unilaterally prohibiting any synthetic drugs the DOJ decides is chemically similar to currently banned drugs. People who import such drugs would face similar penalties to people who import substances that are alreadu banned. While the measure may have been proposed with good intentions, critics say that if passed, a new era will be entered in the War on Drugs, and it may cause more harm than good. Indeed, it seems that many people with opioid use disorders and other addictions import drugs online. While this has given rise to overdoses from drugs…

Continue Reading

Making Oxycontin Harder to Abuse Led to Heroin OD’s

Have you ever wondered how heroin became such a prominent drug in the past few years? In 2010, Purdue Pharma, the makers of Oxycontin, were under a lot of pressure from various stakeholders. The popular drug, used for anything from pain for an acute injury to long-term chronic pain like cancer, had proven more addictive than they anticipated. By the 2000’s, it was clear that something had gone awry. People were crushing pills and snorting or shooting them up. So they decided to make Oxycontin more difficult to abuse by reformulating the medicine. By making the pills difficult to crush and more extended-release, people wouldn’t be able to abuse them. While this was a logical step to take, especially from the drug manufacturer’s perspective, the damage had already been done for many people. Thousands were already misusing the pill, and most of them were already exhibiting signs of a substance abuse disorder. Changing the way that the pills worked resulted in painful withdrawal and most likely even overdoses as…

Continue Reading

Is OxyContin Still King?

There are growing signs around the country that the abuse of OxyContin is diminishing. The drug is being bypassed during pharmacy robberies in favor of Opana, methadone and other narcotic drugs, and some hospital emergency rooms are reporting a decrease in OxyContin overdoses. According to Forbes, the Journal of Pain and other publications, the introduction of a new tamper-resistant form of OxyContin in 2010 seems to be responsible for a decrease in abuse of the drug. Drug addicts previously crushed OxyContin pills to circumvent the drugs time-release mechanism and experience the full impact of the drug in one rush. Instead of allowing drug abusers to crush the pill for snorting or injection, the new OxyContin turns into a gummy mush when tampered with. Unfortunately, the reformulation of OxyContin does not appear to be leading to an overall drop in drug abuse. In the past decade, OxyContin became so popular as a drug of abuse in rural communities that it was nicknamed "hillbilly heroin." This nickname has unfortunately proved to…

Continue Reading

Prescription Pads Play a Key Role in Drug Abuse

For decades, the small pads of paper used to write prescriptions have been an iconic part of every doctor's office. Now these seemingly innocent tablets are assuming a more sinister role. According to drug enforcement officials, stolen and forged prescription pads are at the heart of the current epidemic of prescription drug abuse.  In some recent cases, such as that of Dr. Lisa Barden of Rancho Cucamonga, doctors have stolen prescription pads from other doctors and used them to obtain highly addictive painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin. In other cases, pads are printed by counterfeiters. Many law enforcement officials and lawmakers see paper prescriptions as an old fashioned mechanism that encourages fraud. Prescription pads are in high demand on the black market; law enforcement officials report that drug dealers will pay up to $400 for a stolen prescription drug pad. Up until seven years ago, California required doctors to create triple copies of prescriptions. That requirement was dropped when "tamper-proof" forms were introduced, but criminals soon found ways to…

Continue Reading

Purdue Pharma Executives Fight OxyContin Sentence

In a time of upheaval in our society, this case could be seen as an opportunity for our judicial system to "walk the talk" of our Government's recent claims to be enforcing Corporate Responsibility. In 2007, three top executives at Purdue Pharma (maker of OxyContin) were criminally charged for their role in the marketing of the addictive narcotic painkiller.  The executives were each convicted of a criminal misdemeanor under a somewhat obscure law known as the "responsible corporate officer" doctrine and could have faced a year in prison.  Instead, former CEO Michael Friedman, former medical director Paul Goldenheim and former general counsel Howard Udell agreed to deals that included three years of probation and fines totaling $34.5 million.   As part of their plea bargain, the Purdue Pharma trio also agreed to a sanction prohibiting them from doing business with Medicare and other taxpayer-funded healthcare programs for 20 years.  This sanction effectively bars them from working in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.  Following legal maneuvering by lawyers for the…

Continue Reading

Positive News on the Opiate Crackdown in Ohio

In an article forwarded to us (6 men charged in Ohio Pill Mill Ring) , we see that Ohio is doing their part to crackdown on the OxyContin epidemic.  Authorities in Ohio are prosecuting six people involved in a pill mill in Waverly.  This is encouraging because you can read how unsavory the behaviors of the pill mill operators were: The indictment alleges that the clinic was owned and operated by Nancy and Lester Sadler and Lisa Clevenger. The clinic operated as a “pill mill” by selling prescriptions for controlled substances (usually oxycodone), without a legitimate medical need for the prescriptions. Many of the prescriptions were openly sold and diverted. Blank prescriptions forms were sold so the buyer could use or resell the prescriptions. Additionally, the defendants allegedly created fake medical records and prescriptions for individuals who were not actual customers of the clinic in order to divert additional prescriptions. The defendants also allegedly used Banks’ DEA registration number and fake names to order large quantities of controlled substances,…

Continue Reading

The Oxy Epidemic that Turns Good People Bad

      Before the Fathers Day Massacre Melinda Brady, 29, was convicted of third-degree burglary and obstructing governmental administration with a set bail at $1.5 million bond or $175,000 cash. Her Husband David Laffer,33, was convicted for first-degree murder for the victims of the Medford Long Island New York pharmacy massacre. Read our Coverage of the Father's Day Massacre Read our Coverage of the Arrest of the Father's Day Murderer This event has shattered many families and have left police speechless being “the most cold-blooded robbery-homicide in Suffolk County history,”  As Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney John Collins said. Police Commissioner Richard Dormer was at a loss of words for Laffer and Brady, because they were a couple with out any previous criminal records or history of violence. Dormer said, “It is very difficult to comprehend this…to suddenly engage in this type of violent behavior is beyond understanding. It doesn’t make sense. I don’t have the answer.” OxyContin Epidemic in America Brady and Laffer fell into the epidemic…

Continue Reading