California’s Prescription Monitoring System Threatened by Budget Cuts

Two of the biggest cases of prescription drug diversion in California weren't broken open by detective work alone.  Dr. Lisa Barden, an obstetrician from the Coachella Valley, stole patients' identities to fuel her own prescription drug addiction.  Dr. Nazar Al Bussam, was the top provider of illegal prescription drugs in Southern California for three years.  Both doctors were arrested after being flagged by California's prescription drug monitoring system. California's system, known as the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES), is the oldest drug monitoring program in the nation. Read more about CURES at the State of California Department of Justice Website. At a time when prescription drug abuse is at an all-time high, California Governor Jerry Brown is threatening to shut down the system in response to budget cuts.  According to authorities, future investigations into unethical doctors and illegal prescriptions would be seriously impacted if the system was no longer updated with prescription information from pharmacies. Three years ago, the CURES database was moved online and made…

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Cool Looking Prescription Drug Dropoffs

There is a new initiative to try and provide easier alternatives for people to dispose of prescription drugs. Let alone, the issues of addiction and overdose, pharmaceutical drugs are harmful to the environment if they are not properly disposed of. Pictured are a couple of the "drop boxes" that will be used in New Jersey... What do you think the potential is an ambitious drug seeker will try to get into one of these? We know from the article that at least one of them is going to be inside the lobby of a police station... which should greatly reduce that likelihood.

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Los Angeles OxyContin Pill Mills Raided

The pill mills of Florida have generally been the primary focus of a of media attention. However, we've seen some big OxyContin related busts in the southland of California as well: Smuggling Ring Took Pills Into Mexico Newport Coast Doctor Gets 230 Year Sentence Rowland Hights Dr. Tseng - Doctor of Death Sued by Family of Overdose Victim This week Los Angeles has some news on the Oxy Crackdown because  four medical clinics that were suspected of illegally dispensing prescriptions were raided. Investigators determined that the San Fernando Valley clinics have been operating as pill mills, catering to addicts seeking narcotic painkillers and other prescription drugs.  The raids were carried out by local, state and federal investigators from the LAPD, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the California Department of Justice, the IRS and the FBI. The investigation was prompted by several recent overdoses in the area, including the overdose death of a 51-year-old man who had obtained prescriptions for several different medications from one of the clinics.  Pharmacy bottles…

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Doctor Faces 230-year Sentence for Prescription Drug Dealing

In today's changing climate of addiction, where prescription drug abuse has surpassed illegal drug abuse, the drug dealers are often members of the medical profession. This again became evident this week in a Los Angeles federal courtroom when Dr. Nazar Al Bussum pled guilty to drug distribution charges. The 72-year-old geriatric physician, who lives in the exclusive community of Newport Coast but operated clinics in Downy and Los Angeles, could be sentenced to as many as 230 years in prison and fined up to $11.5 million. Al Bussum is charged with writing prescriptions for narcotic painkillers, codeine cough syrup and anti-anxiety medication for patients who had no medical need for the drugs. The majority of the prescriptions were for oxycodone, hydrocodone and Xanax – all highly addictive substances. Federal prosecutors estimate that he wrote more than 60,000 prescriptions between 2007 and 2010, making as much as $1 million per year by prescribing drugs that often ended up being sold on the street. Federal investigators targeted Al Bussum after his…

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Google Prepares for Hefty Fine for Illegal Drug Ads

Google, the internationally-known search engine and online advertising company, is being investigated by federal regulators for displaying ads for illegal pharmacies that sell prescription drugs online.  These illegal pharmacies sell legitimate prescription drugs without a prescription as well as counterfeit drugs.  Now a recent Securities and Exchange System filing by Google indicates that the company is setting aside $500 million in the event that they are fined for their drug advertising practices.  This sum represents 22% of the company's net income of $2.3 billion. If Google is fined $500 million or more, it could the largest penalty of its type ever paid to the U.S. Department of Justice.  This reflects the enormity of the problem of online prescription drug sales.  A study by doctors at the University  of California and Massachusetts General Hospital found a link between the increase in prescription drug abuse between 2000 and 2007 and the increase in the number of homes with high-speed Internet access.  States with the most expansion in high-speed access had the…

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Son of Democratic Chairman Dies of Overdose

The son of Tennessee Democratic Party chairman Chip Forrester was found dead in his Phi Gamma Delta house  last month. Wilson Forrester, 19, was a promising student at the University of Arizona in Tucson Arizona, which was ranked the fifth “hardest-partying” college in 2009 by Playboy. On April 2, 2011 Forrester was having drinks at Fiji’s fraternity house when friends had to call paramedics after Forrester’s body collapsed. Forrester was pronounced dead at around 9 a.m. When Tucson news KGUN tried to talk to his Phi Gamma Delta, or Fiji, fraternity brothers they refused to comment. Only one comment was made “We’re getting over it and whatever you guys can find by yourselves, that’s pretty much it.” On April 3, 2011 an autopsy was performed by Dr. Parks with the Pima County Medical Examiners office. Dr. Bruce’s report revealed that Forrester had 31 pieces of evidence of recent injury on his body, but no list in the manner or cause of the injuries. Forrester’s toxicology repot showed that he…

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Purdue Pharma is seeking 6 Year Old Kids For Oxycontin Study

  Purdue Pharma is looking for six year-old kids to take OxyContin Makers of OxyContin Purdue Pharma are currently recruiting participants for a clinical study in the treatment of moderate and severe pain. This are the eligibility standards that Purdue Pharma submitted on March of 2011: Ages Eligible for Study:       6 Years to 16 Years Genders Eligible for Study:       Both Accepts Healthy Volunteers:       No Criteria Inclusion Criteria include: •    Male and female patients aged 6 to 16 years, inclusive, who are expected to require ongoing around-the-clock opioid treatment equivalent to at least 20-mg daily dose of oxycodone for at least 2 weeks for management of moderate to severe (based on the investigator's judgment) malignant or nonmalignant pain. •    Patients must be opioid tolerant, ie, have been treated with opioids for at least the 5 consecutive days prior to dosing and with at least 20 mg daily of oxycodone or the equivalent during at least the last 48 hours prior to the start of study drug dosing…

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The Facts about Prescription Drug Addiction

Prescription drugs are currently one of the most abused categories of drugs in America, surpassed only by marijuana.  They are even more widely abused than street drugs like methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin.  Part of the attraction of prescription drugs is that they are relatively easy to obtain from doctors or prescription drug dealers.  They can be found in the medicine cabinets of many households, easily accessible to family members and visitors.  As a result, a growing number of people are abusing prescription drugs and becoming addicted. The National Institutes of Health has reported that an estimated 20 percent of people in the U.S. have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons.  The most highly addictive prescription drugs are narcotic painkillers (OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet), tranquilizers (Valium, Xanax, Ativan) and stimulants (Adderall, Ritalin). Prescription steroids, which increase muscle mass and may be prescribed for muscle-wasting conditions like cancer and AIDS, are also subject to abuse by athletes and non-athletes who want to improve their appearance or performance.  The non-medical use of steroids…

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