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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    Default OxyContin makers fined $634 million

    OxyContin makers fined for downplaying addiction risk

    ABINGDON, Virginia (AP) -- Purdue Pharma L.P., the maker of OxyContin, and three of its executives were ordered Friday to pay a $634.5 million fine for misleading the public about the painkiller's risk of addiction.

    U.S. District Judge James Jones levied the fine on Purdue, its top lawyer and former president and former chief medical officer after a hearing that lasted about 4 hours. The hearing included statements by numerous people who said their lives were changed forever by addiction to OxyContin, a trade name for a long-acting form of the painkiller oxycodone.

    Designed to be swallowed whole and digested over 12 hours, the pills can produce a heroin-like high if crushed and then swallowed, snorted or injected.

    From 1996 to 2001, the number of oxycodone-related deaths nationwide increased fivefold while the annual number of OxyContin prescriptions increased nearly 20-fold, according to a report by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. In 2002, the DEA said the drug caused 146 deaths and contributed to another 318.

    Purdue Pharma L.P., its top lawyer and former president and former chief medical officer pleaded guilty in May to claiming to doctors that OxyContin was less addictive and less subject to abuse than other pain medications. The sentencing Friday ends the national case.

    Michael Friedman, who retired in June as Purdue's president, general counsel Howard Udell and former chief medical officer Paul Goldenheim each pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of misbranding the drug. Of the total fine, $34.5 million was levied on those three.

    Jones placed the company on probation for five years and each of the executives on probation for three years. He also ordered the three to perform 400 hours of community service related to prevention of prescription drug abuse.

    Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani played a central role in negotiating on behalf of Purdue with federal prosecutors, but Jones said "I completely reject" suggestions that political influence resulted in a lesser punishment for Purdue.

    Many of the nearly 20 speakers called for jail terms for Friedman, Udell and Goldenheim, saying the fines were a small price for the devastation to lives from OxyContin addiction.

    "Money can't buy all the lives that are lost," said Robert Palmisano, 23, who said he was addicted to OxyContin for four years but has been off the drug for 17 months.

    Attorneys for the three executives said giving them criminal convictions was punishment enough, and noted they were charged because of their job titles, not because they themselves promoted OxyContin as a drug with little addiction potential.

    "They are not here today because of any acts of misconduct on their part," defense attorney Howard Shapiro said. "They are good men."

    The speakers, many of whose children died after trying the drug only once, disagreed.

    "I feel you are legal drug users, nothing more than a large corporate drug cartel," Lee Nuss of Palm Coast, Florida, said as she addressed the Purdue Pharma contingent.

    Nuss held up a stone urn slightly larger than a pill bottle that she said contained her 18-year-old son's ashes.

    Attorneys for both sides acknowledged the pain of those who had lost loved ones, but urged Jones to accept the plea agreement.

    "By pleading guilty they acknowledged that doing nothing was not good enough," Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Ramseyer said. "We cannot bring those people back. It's not something this case can do."

    Dillie Walker and his wife Joyce of Bay City, Michigan, testified on behalf of Purdue that OxyContin has enabled them to function again despite chronic pain.

    "I don't get high from it. It goes straight to my pain," Dillie Walker said.

    But Kenny Keith of Roanoke said it took very little time for him to get addicted after he was prescribed OxyContin.

    "The withdrawals were worse than the pain I was having," he said.

    Jones said he would have preferred to have the plea agreements call for spending money on education of those at risk of drug abuse and treatment of those who are addicted to OxyContin. But Jones said he would not reject the agreement.

    "Many young people mistakenly believe today that prescription drugs are safer than other drugs," Jones said.

    The fines are to be distributed to state and federal law enforcement agencies, the federal government, federal and state Medicaid programs, a Virginia prescription monitoring program and individuals who had sued the company. About $5 million will go toward a six-year company program to monitor compliance with the agreement.

    Survivors of the victims want the Food and Drug Administration to reclassify OxyContin for use only for severe pain. The drug currently can be prescribed for moderate pain.

    Purdue, based in Stamford, Connecticut, has said it accepted responsibility for its employees' actions and has put in place training and monitoring programs to ensure over promotion of OxyContin doesn't happen again. But officials objected to any ties between the plea agreement and abuse of the drug.

    The coal-mining region of southwest Virginia where the sentencing took place has had a number of oxycodone-related deaths -- 119 from 2003 through 2005, according to the state medical examiner's office.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack. -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Sinner's Swing!
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    10.27.17 @ 06:31 PM
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    More bullsh*t.............

    No prescriber that gives it out doesn't know what it is. It isn't the drug makers fault, it's the prescribers, and the users fault.

    I've seen prescribers give it PRN (as needed), for injuries, post-op, all that crap. That's not what it is for. It's for patients with cancer, life long injuries (back, neck, etc.), and people that will NEVER be off of it. Don't give it to some 19 year old after a boob job, give her a few Vicodin and then give tylenol.

    For the users, I don't understand how it's the makers fault if some kid breaks into mom and dad's med cabinet (while they are probably high as a kite themselves) and crushes it up and snorts it, that's not what it's for. If a kid did that with rat poison, should you sue the maker? No, because that's not the intended use, same thing.

    Of course, I gotta listen to people bitch that 60 of them run about $500. Wonder why???

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk FORD's Avatar
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    I was prescribed Oxy for a painful tendonitis episode back a few years ago which damn near paralyzed my left arm. Possibly a couple years before that when I got my wisdom teeth yanked as well.

    It didn't get me high in the least. Didn't do as much for the pain as I would have liked. All it did was put me to sleep. Which isn't a bad thing, given my frequent bouts of insomnia. But I'm not willing to become a junkie just to sleep.

    Maybe I should have snorted it and got my money's worth?
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  4. #4
    Super Duper Frontman track 5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FORD View Post
    I was prescribed Oxy for a painful tendonitis episode back a few years ago which damn near paralyzed my left arm.
    I hear that great grandpappy Bush invented Oxy. Damn the man. Out.
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  5. #5
    no stinkin click! muffdiver's Avatar
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    That stuff gets ya nice and buzzed.My buddy's given me a few before...

  6. #6
    Eruption Stiil_A_Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by muffdiver View Post
    That stuff gets ya nice and buzzed.My buddy's given me a few before...
    Did you yodel in the canyon?

  7. #7
    no stinkin click! muffdiver's Avatar
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    No, but I had a permasmile for a long time....

  8. #8
    Eruption Stiil_A_Fan's Avatar
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    11.26.14 @ 12:50 AM
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    Sounds like a good time, I think I will stick with Beer though.

  9. #9
    no stinkin click! muffdiver's Avatar
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    Yep, beers the one for me too.....Ahh beer...







  10. #10
    Eruption Stiil_A_Fan's Avatar
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    It’s right up there with canyon yodeling for me, they kind good together at times. LOL

  11. #11
    Atomic Punk
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    Designed to be swallowed whole and digested over 12 hours, the pills can produce a heroin-like high if crushed and then swallowed, snorted or injected.

    From 1996 to 2001, the number of oxycodone-related deaths nationwide increased fivefold while the annual number of OxyContin prescriptions increased nearly 20-fold, according to a report by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. In 2002, the DEA said the drug caused 146 deaths and contributed to another 318.
    Okay kids, you know all those threads we have about the high cost of healthcare in the US? This lawsuit is the primary reason that your insurance is so high and why the cost of meds is out of reach for the uninsured. The segment above shows the problematic thinking behind the lawsuit and then the media's utter stupidity in covering the problem. Look at the first sentence:

    Designed to be swallowed whole and digested over 12 hours, the pills can produce a heroin-like high if crushed and then swallowed, snorted or injected.
    It says right off that the pill was designed to be ingested orally. Nowhere in the article did they break down the numbers to show how many of the deaths were of people who had used the Oxy Contin correctly as it was designed.

    In 2002, the DEA said the drug caused 146 deaths and contributed to another 318.
    DEA? The FDA handles prescription drug deaths, the DEA handles ILLEGAL DRUG USE. Again, there is no break down as to how many of these deaths were from illegal use, so we don't know the true story. I like the "Contributed to another 318", WTF does that mean? Either it killed them or it didn't.

    Honest to God, it's like reading 1930s post trial stories where a jurry (a glorified lynch mob) found a black man guilty of raping a white woman. Who cares about the facts?

    The speakers, many of whose children died after trying the drug only once, disagreed.
    "Tried" the drug? Do they mean like the kids who died after they "Tried" Drano? How is the drug maker responsible for this?

    Stupid kids will aways run into the Darwin Fatcor.

    "Many young people mistakenly believe today that prescription drugs are safer than other drugs," Jones said.
    Well who's fucking fault is that, Sherlock? Kids drive too fast, do we sue the car manufacturer? Kids drink too much beer, do we sue Coors? It is not my fault that someone kid was so stupid that they took a powerful medicine and died, and yet I will have to pay for their mistake through higher healthcare costs, AS WILL ALL OF YOU WHO ARE READING THIS WHO LIVE IN THE US.

    Purdue Pharma L.P will end up raising the price of it's other medications:

    http://www.purduepharma.com/html/our...r_products.htm

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  12. #12
    Eruption Onirb's Avatar
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    One of the problems is the medicaid/medicare system. They cover drugs such as oxycontin/oxycodone er with no prior authorization for these drugs. This means that any one can be put on this for maintainence dosing and pay little to no money for which the financial burden is put on the taxpayers. Some doctors are enablers and to get around the whole prior auth situation they are now prescribing oxycodone 30mg regular release tablets at a clip of 5 tablets a day. That is a total of 150 milligrams a day. Just to give an idea how many milligrams that is a regular percocet 5mg has only 5mg's of oxycodone in it. Most people are prescribed that after surgery. Oh the stories I can tell.

    Oh by the way I am a pharmacist.

  13. #13
    Atomic Punk FORD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
    Kids drink too much beer, do we sue Coors?
    No, when someone dies from drinking Coors (or any other pisswater "beer"), that's merely natural selection
    Eat Us And Smile

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  14. #14
    Sinner's Swing!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onirb View Post
    One of the problems is the medicaid/medicare system. They cover drugs such as oxycontin/oxycodone er with no prior authorization for these drugs. This means that any one can be put on this for maintainence dosing and pay little to no money for which the financial burden is put on the taxpayers. Some doctors are enablers and to get around the whole prior auth situation they are now prescribing oxycodone 30mg regular release tablets at a clip of 5 tablets a day. That is a total of 150 milligrams a day. Just to give an idea how many milligrams that is a regular percocet 5mg has only 5mg's of oxycodone in it. Most people are prescribed that after surgery. Oh the stories I can tell.

    Oh by the way I am a pharmacist.
    Agreed 100%. I had a gentleman come in the other day for a Mucomyst script, all of 12 buck, and AZ medicaid came back with "prior authorization required". WTF is that???? I can run Oxycontin 80 through for a 12 year old, no problem there, hell, I can even run Arimidex through for an 18 year old male and no problems there, just crazy. Of course, I don't fill the 18YO male Arimidex scripts lol

  15. #15
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