Tuesday, September 3, 2013

California Senators Urge Purdue Pharma To Name Suspect Physicians

Two California senators are calling on OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma to name physicians suspected of liberal prescription practices.

The action was made in response to a recent LA Times article describing a 10 year effort by the corporation to I.D. problematic prescribers of its highly addictive and potent pain killer. Purdue Pharma was able to amass a database of over 1,800 physicians who showed signs of reckless prescribing.

California Senators Urge Purdue Pharma To Name Suspect PhysiciansPurdue has appeared to keep its concerns to a minimum, referring a total of 154 cases to medical regulators and authorities since the investigation began in ’02. Legal counsel for Purdue said that the decision as to whether or not to refer a physician was “essentially a judgment call” determined on a case-by-case basis following corporate review.

President of the Medical Board of California, Sharon Levine expressed her approval of the senators’ request and is hoping for Purdue compliance.

“We would be thrilled to have that information,” Levine said. She also stated that although the database would likely lack physical evidence of wrongdoing, that it could offer some valuable leads down the road.

As seen in many other areas of the country, California is struggling with a prescription drug death issue – deemed an “epidemic” by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Purdue’s introduction of a tamper-resistant OxyContin in 2010 sought to make the drug more difficult to abuse. In a recent study performed by Purdue, maximum-strength OxyContin prescriptions – favored by addicts – was shown to have plummeted by a whopping eighty percent following the new pill’s introduction.

Coincidence? We think not.

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