California Criminal Case Brings Spotlight on Prescription Drug Abuse

The abuse of prescription drugs in America is now at a level that can easily be called epidemic: each month, more than 7 million Americans are using in a non-medical context.

California is also seeing the effects of this startling increase in painkiller abuse; not just through the actions of the addicts, but the criminals who supply them. In this case, two doctors, among others, are at fault, resulting in untold costs to taxpayers.

In October 2011, authorities discovered an illegal operation involving OxyContin and Medicare fraud, which led to the arrest of 10 people, of which two were physicians.

This OxyContin ring, centered in a Westlake medical facility, involved doctors that wrote unnecessary prescriptions out to the names of Medi-Cal and Medicare patients, some of whom were victims of identity theft. The public insurance associations then footed the …

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This is a Side Effect of Purdue Pharmas Great Painkillers

Good footage from AlJazeera from Kabul about Afghani smugglers.
If you don’t understand the connection to an American pharmaceutical company, it is briefly like so:

– OxyContin is a narcotic painkiller that is incredibly addictive

– Street value of an OxyContin pill is over $50

– Users of OxyContin (or other opioids) who become addicted experience incredibly painful emotional and physical withdrawals without the drug

– Street value of a hit of heroin is $5-$10 and produces the same effect as OxyContin

I am sure you can piece together the rest of the puzzle as to why Purdue Pharmas billion dollar drug that is basically “legal heroin” has fueled a global trade that also funds Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.…

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Dr. Feelgood Charged with Murder in Patient Overdose Deaths

A Southern California doctor who had earned the nickname “Dr. Feelgood” for prescribing large quantities of prescription drugs has been charged with murder for the overdose deaths of three patients.  Lisa (Hsiu-Ying) Tseng was taken into custody at her office located in a Rowland Heights strip mall and led away in handcuffs.  She will be arraigned in Los Angeles County Superior Court and is being held on $3 million bail.  If convicted, Dr. Tseng could be sentenced to a state prison term of 45 years to life.

According to authorities, Tseng wrote prescriptions for narcotic painkillers including OxyContin and Vicodin and other potent drugs like Xanax and Adderall at a rate of about 25 per day for the past three years.  This amounted to more than 27,000 prescriptions.  Her patients were asked a minimum number of questions and were not …

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Southern California OxyContin Abusers Switching to Heroin

Drug treatment officials in San Diego County recently reported that the use of heroin by young adults has more than tripled since 2006.  According to Susan Bower, director of San Diego County Alcohol and Drug Services, the increase in heroin use is “scary.”  Admissions for heroin addiction now account for nearly one in five of all treatment admissions at facilities operated by the county.

Many of the addicts seeking treatment have been identified as young men who are switching to heroin as a cheaper alternative to OxyContin.  The black market demand for OxyContin has caused the price to rise to as much as $80 for an 80mg tablet, making heroin an cheaper alternative for addicts despite its deadly reputation. This is the first time in several decades that heroin abuse and addiction has become an issue in San Diego…
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Death of Whitney Houston Needs to Put Focus on Prescription Drug Abuse

The exact cause of Whitney Houston’s death is still under investigation, but her long history of drug abuse indicates that she may be another celebrity whose privileged life was cut short by addiction. Based on the contents of her hotel room, authorities are already speculating that prescription drug abuse may have played a role in her death. In just the past few years, Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger, Brittany Murphy and Anna Nicole Smith lost their lives to prescription drug overdoses. Over the decades, other iconic stars including Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland died prematurely because of prescription drug abuse.

Tabloid newspapers and website are kept busy these days by the high number of celebrities struggling with prescription drug abuse while reality shows like “Celebrity Rehab” chronicle their recovery. One unfortunate side effect of the focus on celebrity drug …

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Confessions of a Pharma Rep

Our site has become a bit of a “watchdog” site, but we We are not nearly as anti Pharma as you might think.

We believe that the pharmaceutical industry is driven by researchers, doctors, and scientists who are dedicated to saving lives and increasing the quality of life.

Still, there is a dark side to the equation, which is highlighted in this video called “Confessions of a Pharma Rep.”  This woman who is a veteran of the pharmaceutical industry talks about some really poor practices through which the pharma industry has earned a bad reputation for.

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CVS Blacklists Florida Doctors Who Write Too Many Painkiller Prescriptions

In a move that could set a nationwide precedent, CVS recently sent letters to a group of high-prescribing Florida doctors advising them that the company’s pharmacies will no longer fill their prescriptions for painkillers and other dangerous drugs.  According to the Orlando Sentinel, the action has been described as blacklisting by some of the doctors and at least one doctor who received a letter has responded with legal action against CVS.

In a prepared statement, CVS stated that it informed a small group of Florida doctors that their prescriptions for Schedule II narcotics will no longer be filled.  The company was not specific about how many doctors have been notified but stated that the action was taken in the interest of keeping controlled substances out of the wrong hands and preventing drug abuse.  CVS operates more than 700 pharmacies in …

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Second Drug Company Commits to Addictive TD Hydrocodone Painkiller

A second drug company has announced plans to market a powerful new form of hydrocodone.  Teva Pharmaceuticals, based in Israel, is predicting that sales of its TD Hydrocone could increase its revenue by up to $500 million within one or two years. Teva is joining San Diego based Zogenix who are planning to launch the drug under the brand name Zohydro.

The new super painkiller will contain more than four times the amount of hydrocodone found in a single Vicodin tablet.  Many experts fear that competition between pharmaceutical makers to get the powerful new drug to the market will add to the nation’s prescription drug abuse epidemic.  There is also concern about lawmakers that this new drug could create a new class of drug abusers and fuel the prescription drug black market.
According to Teva, TD Hydrocodone contains a 12-hour …

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Addictive Painkillers Bring Crime to the Corner Pharmacy

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has reported that armed robberies of pharmacies across the nation increased 51% between 2006 and 2010.  According to DEA spokesperson Rusty Payne, addiction to prescription drugs like DEA has fueled the surge in drug store crimes.  The desire to obtain drugs by people who are addicted and by drug dealers who traffic in black market pharmaceuticals has brought violent crime to the corner drug store.  In some cases, pharmacists are arming themselves with guns.

MSNBC reports that pharmacy thieves are overwhelmingly targeting oxycodone painkillers like OxyContin and Roxicodone and hydrocone-based pain pills like Vicodin and Norco.  Both oxycodone and hydrocodone are highly addictive.
Although most drug store robbers don’t hurt anyone during the commission of their crime, the risk of violence seems to be increasing.  These are some of the more shocking pharmacy crimes of …

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California Doctor known as “Candy Man” Arrested for Drug Trafficking

It appears that yet another doctor has placed the desire to make money by trafficking in prescription painkillers like OxyContin above the welfare of his patients.  Dr. Julio Diaz, a Santa Barbara physician who has been linked to at least a dozen drug overdose deaths in recent years, was recently taken into custody at his home by local police and federal authorities from the DEA.  The charges against him include felony drug trafficking. The 63-year-old doctor had been the subject of an ongoing investigation for allegedly prescribing addictive prescription medication to patients who had no medical need for the drugs.  He was known on the street as “Candy Man” because he had a reputation for freely dispensing prescription drugs.  His reputation was so widespread that people drove hundreds of miles to his Family Medical Clinic to obtain drugs.  An…
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