Painkiller Advocacy Group has Ties to Drugmakers

The American Pain Foundation (APF) describes itself as an advocacy organization for patient pain relief. The non-profit foundation promotes the message that the threat of addiction to prescription painkillers has been exaggerated and pain medication is underused. A non-profit news organization named ProPublica has investigated the American Pain Foundation and found that almost 90% of the group's $5 million in funding in 2010 came from pharmaceutical companies. One of these companies is Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin. The views promoted by APF are in contrast to reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that more than 15,000 people die each year from overdoses of opioid painkillers like OxyContin. The CDC has called the painkiller situation an epidemic and a growing group of experts question the effectiveness of these drugs. Although Will Rowe, chief executive of the APF, has stated that the chief interest of the group is in helping people who are affected by pain, several board members have financial ties to drug manufacturers. The foundation has…

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Overtaken – Unbelievably Powerful Documentary Now Online

This documentary is the kind of project that embodies what our website is all about. The movie "Overtaken" is a tour de force that will shock viewers into contemplating drug use and it's effect on society.  As we  meet charming teen after teen who discuss how drugs derailed their lives, the viewer cannot help but feel moved and outraged that not more awareness is being given to this epidemic. We started StopOxy in 2009 to bring awareness to the OxyContin epidemic.  To see such a stirring portrayal of the effects of drug use on teens gives us hope that the message will be heard and that change is in the works. We feel that everyone - from teens to grandparents - should see this film.  Anyone who comes in contact with an at risk teen has the chance to help that person. Let's not stay quiet anymore, let's let our voice and message be heard loudly.   The film is 27 minutes long and would not have ever come to…

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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…

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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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Peoria Illinois Weighs in on the Havoc Wreaked by Opiates

A good article in the Peoria County Star highlights the deadly spread of opiate abuse in what is perceived as an "all american" city. Opiates abuse, which the article refers to as "a scary trend," is way up in Peoria and Dr. George Hevesy says he is concerned about doctors over prescribing narcotic painkiller drugs like Vicodin, OxyContin, and Percodan. We have been covering the painkiller epidemic for a while now and it is our goal to bring awareness on as many fronts as possible .  Add Peoria, Illinois to the list of cities that are being negatively impacted by the "silent epidemic" of prescription drug abuse.

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Oxy Addled Ontario Shuts A Doctor Down

Dr. Alan Redekopp was disciplined by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario because he increased a patient's narcotic drug prescriptions by a factor of 1o in the year preceding her overdose. Donna Bertrand was the patient who (it is almost certain) was selling the drug.  The reason it is almost certain she was selling the drug is because a 19 year old overdosed on prescription medication in the same apartment as Donna Bertrand - but a few days before. Dr. Redekopp is still allowed to practice but has to display a sign in his waiting room stating that he is banned form prescribing narcotic drugs like OxyContin.

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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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Meet the New Killer – Same as the Old Killer

Obituary writers, morticians, crime scene detectives and the like should familiarize themselves with this phrase: "death was caused by fatal overdose of OxyNEO." Purdue Pharma has shown what a powerful marketing strategy team you can hire when you profit mightily off of destroying thousands of families by marketing a drug like OxyContin a.ka. "legal heroin". The latest ploy the PR wizards at Purdue Pharma have announced is the discontinuation of OxyContin in 2012 and the launch of OxyNEO. Hmm, wonder if this will fool anyone as the drug continues to be abused and cause addiction and overdose well into the future. We have been covering the destructive swath OxyContin has carved through the heartland of America including reporting on Purdue Pharma's halfhearted attempts to minimize the damage by releasing sticky OxyContin that was supposedly harder to abuse (but still just as easy to abuse by taking it orally - which is why the new formulation of OxyContin was not met with much enthusiasm). Here are some fast facts about…

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