Monthly Archives: February 2010

Purdue execs seek to overturn disbarment

Corporate Counsel reports that Howard Udell, the former general counsel of OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP, has had his lawsuit regarding his debarment consolidated with the cases of two of his fellow executives caught up in the OxyContin fraudulent marketing scandal. Udell, former chief executive Michael Friedman and former chief medical officer Paul D. Goldenheim are seeking to overturn an order excluding them from participation in federal health care programs for 12 years. The move comes in the wake of their guilty pleas in a $634.5 million settlement over the company’s marketing of OxyContin. In their lawsuit, the former executives say the record of conviction contains no evidence that they themselves committed any unlawful acts. Rather, they claim, “throughout their careers, each of the plaintiffs has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to combating abuse and diversion of prescription drugs.”

Hmmm.

View the original complaint in the case here.

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Opiates are leading cause of youth deaths in Mass.

Opiates like heroin and OxyContin are now the leading cause of death for young people in Massachusetts, where more than 3,200 people died of opiate overdoses between 2002 and 2007, the Lowell Sun reports. The paper reports that the going rate for Oxy in the state is about $70 a pill, as compared with as low as $2 for a bag of heroin – a difference that could fuel the state’s Oxy-to-heroin problem.

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Ohio’s illegal prescription drug trade hits epidemic levels

Ohio pharmacists filled 2.7 million prescriptions in 2008 for high-powered painkillers such as OxyContin and Percocet, narcotics that contain oxycodone: nearly one for every four people in the state, the Columbus Dispatch reports. Meanwhile, deaths related to overdoses of prescription drugs have soared in Ohio by at least 280 percent in the past decade, the paper says.

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