Lawmakers seek reckless prescribing info from Purdue

DRUG BANNEDIn the wake of a Los Angeles Times report describing a decade-long effort by Purdue Pharma to identify potentially problematic prescribers of OxyContin, two state lawmakers are requesting that the company turn over the names of doctors it suspects recklessly prescribed the pills to drug dealers and addicts.

Sen. Richard “Tick” Segerblom (D-Las Vegas) and California state Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) want Purdue to reveal the names of physicians contained in a database that includes some 1,800 doctors who showed signs of dangerous prescribing, according to the LA Times.

Purdue has taken the stance that the painkiller addiction epidemic was fueled largely by pharmacy robberies, doctor-shopping patients and teens raiding home medicine cabinets, but has admitted that a small number of physicians might account for a “substantial portion” of the nation’s black-market supply of prescription painkillers, the article says.

According to the article:

Beginning in 2002, Purdue trained its sales representatives to report “red flags” in doctors’ offices, such as young patients, long lines, people nodding off in waiting rooms and frequent cash transactions. Purdue attorneys review their reports, and if a doctor’s practice is deemed too risky, the company bars sales representatives from marketing to the physicians. The suspect doctors are removed from the company’s numbered sales territories and assigned to the database, known as “Region Zero.”

About Erin Marie Daly

I’m a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. My book on prescription drug and heroin addiction was published in August 2014 by Counterpoint Press.
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One Response to Lawmakers seek reckless prescribing info from Purdue

  1. Sandra says:

    This might be a good thing for the people or kids or addicts that are abusing the medication, But what about all the people that have chronic pain and need this medication to be able to function. This is scarring regular Doctors that care about their patients and don’t want to see them suffer in pain. There is good and bad in
    everything and I don’t think you can draw a line pain is an individual situation
    and needs to be kept between the doctors and their patients. Let’s not make a
    political situation out of a health situation. There is a label on the bottle if you can
    read you know how to take your medication. we don’t need big government telling
    us how and with what kind of pain medication we should take to manage our pain.
    The dea needs to again go back out into the streets and pick up the pushers and if
    someone becomes addicted get them the treatment they need and that doesn’t mean
    lock them up in some jail for a million years because we don’t have enough affordable
    rehabs to help the people that need it.

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