Saturday, May 12, 2007

Washington Drug Letter

Washington Drug Letter

May 14, 2007 Monday

Purdue Pleads Guilty to Mislabeling OxyContin

SECTION: Vol. 39 No. 20

LENGTH: 344 words
Purdue Pharma and three current and former company executives pleaded guilty to mislabeling OxyContin and will pay more than $634 million in fines, according to a U.S. prosecutor.
The agreement closed a four-year investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Western District of Virginia over the company's promotion of the painkiller OxyContin (oxycodone HCl). Purdue acknowledged it falsely claimed OxyContin was less addictive, less subject to abuse and less likely to cause withdrawal symptoms than other pain medications, U.S. Attorney John Brownlee said.
"The results of [Purdue's] misrepresentations and crimes sparked one of our nation's greatest prescription drug failures," Brownlee said. Between 1996 and 2002, OxyContin caused 146 deaths and contributed to 318, according to a report from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.
The company trained sales representatives to tell healthcare providers that it was more difficult to abuse OxyContin, the attorney general's office said. In addition, the company told some physicians that patients would not experience withdrawal symptoms or develop a tolerance to the drug.
The FDA's Office of Criminal Investigations said the company engaged in "an extensive, long-term conspiracy" to generate higher sales through illegal schemes.
Purdue CEO Michael Friedman, general counsel Howard Udell and former chief medical officer Paul Goldenheim pleaded guilty to misbranding the drug. Friedman will pay $19 million to the Virginia Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Udell will pay $8 million and Goldenheim will pay $7.5 million, the attorney general's office said.
An independent staff will monitor the company and provide reports to the government on the company's business practices, the office said. Purdue noted it has already changed its internal training, compliance and monitoring systems to stop similar events from occurring again.
The company and executives filed their guilty pleas in the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Virginia May 10. -- Emily Ethridge
Release date: May 14, 2007

2 comments:

Geoff Hasler said...

The Purdue & Oxycontin issue shows how some U.S. drug companies behave so badly - and the FDA, Pharma and other drug companies do nothing about it. Pharmacies, doctors & companies like ours had to place signs in our office: NO OXYCONTIN ON PREMISES. In some rural areas, there was a major crime wave as users needed more & more of the narcotic. To my knowledge, the FDA Big Pharma & other drug companies did nothing even though everyone in the medical & related fields knew exactly what was going on.

carol said...

Hello, i am Allison's and Sara's sister Carol.. This is NOT about terminating pain medication at all. This is about making the pill un- abusive, making it a gell form would help severely. The pills now have a coating that is removed, making the pill crushable and snortable, and a serious problem. My sister i fear is gonna end up dead with the severe addiction she has from these pills and my aunt and cousin and 3 friends of mine in PA are DEAD from oxy cotin.. DEAD. Dead from a pain pill that i am watching one by one the facts in our faces but nothing nothing is being done. How many pharmacies need to be held at gunpoint for THIS PILL. HOW MANY LIVES WILL BE TAKEN KNOWING HOW DESPERATE THESE KIDS AND ADDICTS HAVE BECOME ON THIS . I wonder and pray and ask WHY cant a country capable of MASS AMOUNTS, let this continue with deaf ears blind eyes and no concious. Addicts are brothers, sisters, moms, dads, PEOPLE..NOT all are wasted useless "druggies" with nothing to offer and not worth HELPING.. HELLO.. HOW MANY PEOPLE , GOOD PEOPLE, WILL DIE WITH ME SCREAMING "SOMEONE PLEASE TAKE CONTROL, GIVE A DAMN, AND DO SOMETHING OTHER THAN IGNORE THIS FACT, DO YOUR JOB, STAND UP AND DO WHAT IS RIGHT, NOT WHAT MONEY SHUTS YOU UP.. ANYONE LISTENING , DO THE HISTORY ON PERDUE PHARMA AND THEIR MULTI MILLION DOLLAR PILL DISTRIBUTION THAT STARTED OUT HANDING OUT ONE OR TWO AT ROUTINE DOCTOR VISITS IN POVERTY STRICKEN RURAL SMALL TOWNS. HELLO. FOR ****** SAKE ITS BAD AND ITS BEEN ON THE NEWS AND EVERYONE SITS WATCHING IT LIKE ITS A SITCOM..THIS IS OUR KIDS AND LOVED ONES , THIS IS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA WHERE MY HUSBAND SERVED 21 YEARS IN THE FORCES FOR THIS COUNTRY . A COUNTRY I AM FINDING IS NOT SERVING SERIOUS ISSUES FOR ITS PEOPLE THAT SERVE IT.. I LOST 2 FROM OXY COTIN.(1 FROM GHB) ALLISON GOT GHB IN THE HEALTH FOOD STORE WITH LIES THAT IT WAS A VITAMIN SUPPLEMENT AND DIED THE MOST PAINFUL, TORMENTED,LAST YEAR OF HER LIFE FIGHTING TO LIVE AND COULD NOT FIGHT NO MORE AND IS DEAD..NOBODY STILL KNOWS ABOUT GHB WHEN I GO TO DENTIST, SCHOOLS, EMERGENCY ROOM, WHEREVER , THEY STILL DONT KNOW AND WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT THE SYMPTEMS ARE AND OF THIS SUBSTANCE, HOW CAN THEY GET HELP?? I cant fight alone , and this country and the people running this population control or whatever it is they let happen, need to do something.MY SISTER IS 24 YEARS OLD AND IF ANYTHING HAPPENS TO HER, WHAT DO I DO THEN.. I AM FIGHTING FOR HER, SHE IS ALL I HAVE LEFT..ALLISON'S DEATH I WILL STAND TELLING HER STORY UNTIL I AM DEAD, FOR HER, WITH HER IN MY HEART TO TRY TO PREVENT SOMEONE ELSE LIVING WHAT I LIVE EVERY DAY WITHOUT HER. IT IS ALL I CAN DO TO JUST HAVE A GOOD DAY KNOWING THE REALITY AND ODDS OF LOOSING HER ARE VERY HIGH AND UNLESS SOMETHING IS NOT DONE SOON. I WILL FIND CLOTHES AND HER FAVORITE STUFF, STAND AT HER CASKET, SAY ALL MY HEART HAS LEFT AND LOOSE HER TOO. GOD BLESS EVERYONE AND BETH THANK YOU FOR STANDING UP AND MAKING A DIFFERENCE , YOUR VIDEOS ARE TRUELY AMAZING, EDUCATING, REAL AND YOU ARE TRUELY A ANGEL HERE ON EARTH WITH THE IMPACT YOU AND PROJECT GHB HAVE MADE IN MY LIFE AND ALLISON'S AND I THANK YOU. EDUCATE, SPREAD THE WORD, MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND WATCH THESE STORIES OF WHAT IS GOING ON SO THAT YOU ARE NOT LIKE ME, FIGHTING AND SPEAKING DAILY FOR THE LOSS OF SOMEONE YOU LOVED DEARLY. TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE, GOD BLESS.