Oxy Watchdog

Keeping An Eye On OxyContin

Archive for the ‘Litigation’ Category

Fla. drug monitoring program faces delay, criticism

Posted by Oxy Watchdog on September 16, 2010

Florida’s new prescription drug monitoring program may be put on hold due to a bid dispute despite the increasing rate of drug abuse in the state, reports this article in the St. Petersburg Times. One of the companies that lost out on the bid to create the program is now claiming the state health department’s selection process was unfair. What’s more, the program has already faced criticism over loopholes that could allow for doctor shopping. Florida is one of about 12 states in the U.S. without a prescription drug monitoring program, yet prescription drugs are now the number one cause of overdose in the state.

To read more about prescription drug monitoring programs in the U.S. from the Drug Enforcement Administration, go here.

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Posted in Litigation, Policy & Regulation | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Wash. restricts addictive painkillers, pain advocates worry

Posted by Oxy Watchdog on September 13, 2010

In reaction to new statistics on prescription drug abuse, Washington pushed through unique legislation that limits the amount of opiates patients can be prescribed before consulting with a pain specialist, but now the medical community and pain advocates are voicing their concerns. According to this article in the Seattle Times, state guidelines adopted in 2007 attempting to curb prescription abuse haven’t worked, necessitating more stringent regulations. Though the state has the seventh-highest death rate involving prescription opiates, some doctors and advocates argue that doctors leery of losing their license will withhold drugs from those in need.

Posted in Litigation, Pain Advocates, Policy & Regulation | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Va. holds conference on opiate drug abuse

Posted by Oxy Watchdog on September 12, 2010

Virginia officials agree – reigning in the state’s growing drug abuse problem will be a massive undertaking, reports this article in the Burlington Free Press. A day-long conference, attended by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and local police, doctors, parents and treatment facilities, was held to dicuss and better understand the problem on a local level. According to Holder, more than 6 million Americans abuse prescription drugs and in 2009, one in 17 used those prescriptions to get high. He encouraged a “a multifaceted strategy” including better education, outreach and policy.

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Purdue to pay $16 million for suppressing generic brands of OxyContin

Posted by Oxy Watchdog on September 8, 2010

Purdue Pharma, manufacturer of prescription pain pill OxyContin, will pay $16 million to direct purchasers of the drug who claim Purdue obtained patents through misleading information, according to this article in the Wall Street Journal. Since the patents were filed in the 1990s, purchasers of the drug accused the pharmaceutical company of using invalid patents to sue companies making generic versions of OxyContin, thereby delaying the FDA approval process for those generics, reports Law 360. Purdue has already settled the majority of 57 similar cases.

Read about other cases against Purdue from makers of generic OxyContin here.

Posted in Litigation, Pharmaceutical Industry | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

N.C. police push for open prescription records

Posted by Oxy Watchdog on September 7, 2010

An association of sheriffs in North Carolina wants to allow law enforcement officials full access to the state’s prescription monitoring program in a bid to curb doctor shopping and abuse of narcotics, reports an article in the Charlotte Observer. Patient advocates in the state argue that such a move would violate privacy and cause a chilling effect on necessary use of pain medication such as OxyContin. Though North Carolina’s Controlled Substance Reporting System mirrors that of other states and is open to doctors, pharmacists, and certain government agents, police cannot apply for access. A similar bill was challenged by the ACLU in 2007 due to privacy concerns, and as it stands, only 30 percent of the state’s doctors and pharmacies have registered to use the existing system.

In the first six months of this year, nearly 2.5 million people filled prescriptions for more than 375 million doses of controlled substances such as OxyContin – nearly a third of the state’s residents, the article says.

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Canada cracks down on highest narcotic usage in the world

Posted by Oxy Watchdog on August 28, 2010

Facing the highest per capita usage of narcotics in the world, and double the rate of abuse than the rest of the country, the province of Ontario, Canada is implementing a prescription drug monitoring program similar to those already in place in the U.S. Ontario has seen the use of prescription oxycodone increase 900 percent since 1991, claiming more deaths than HIV each year, reports the Winnipeg Free Press. According to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal late last year, the death toll has increased dramatically since the new slow-release version of OxyContin hit the market—supposedly a version less prone to abuse.

To read more about the new version of slow-release OxyContin, go here.

Find out more about prescription drug monitoring programs in the U.S. here.

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Strengthened Mass. law targets Oxy abuse

Posted by Oxy Watchdog on August 25, 2010

Through an updated electronic monitoring system, Mass. doctors will keep closer tabs on potential prescription drug abuse, including OxyContin–the abuse of which is a particular problem in the state. According to DOTmed News, the law will limit doctors prescribing unnecessary drugs, increases the number of drugs that are monitored, and report when patients are receiving the same prescription from multiple sources, among other changes. At least 9,000 Mass. residents are suspected of engaging in “doctor shopping” annually, reports the GovMonitor. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the state joins 34 others in the U.S. with existing prescription monitoring programs.

Decisions leading up to Mass. prescription monitoring program can be found here.

Reports on opiate abuse in Mass can be read here.

Read about Oregon’s implementation of the program here.

Posted in Litigation, Policy & Regulation, Trends | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Makers of OxyContin suppress generic brands

Posted by Oxy Watchdog on August 24, 2010

Australian company Mundipharma is fighting patents on generic forms of oxycodone, which if brought to market would drastically cut the pharmaceutical company’s profits of OxyContin, reports the American Chronicle. Oxycodone is the highest selling opiate in Australia, with reported sales of $42 million in 2009.  A similar situation is echoed with the U.S. manufacturer of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma LP, which recently submitted a new patent for the reformulated version of the painkiller. The new patent ensures other companies will not be able to create generic forms of oxycodone, reports ABC News.

Information on Purdue Pharam’s reformulated version of OxyContin can be found here.

Posted in Litigation, Pharmaceutical Industry, Trends | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

MD on the hook for 68 pill overdose deaths

Posted by Oxy Watchdog on June 15, 2010

A federal jury is set to decide the fate of a Kansas doctor charged with running a pain clinic that essentially functioned as a “pill mill,” leading to the overdose deaths of nearly 70 patients from medicines such as OxyContin. Many of Dr. Stephen Schneider’s patients failed drug screening tests, required increased dosages of medication, and suffered non-fatal overdoses before finally dying, many within days of their last visit to the clinic, AFP reports.

Read federal prosecutors’ trial brief regarding Schneider’s criminal liability here.

Posted in Crime, Litigation | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Purdue execs seek to overturn disbarment

Posted by Oxy Watchdog on February 10, 2010

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.

Posted in Crime, Litigation | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

 
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