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Will Purdue Pharma's Deep Pockets Buy Leniency in Senate Investigation ?Marianne Skolek Salem-News.com
Purdue Pharma has until June 8 to produce documents demanded by the Senate Finance Committee.
(MYRTLE BEACH, SC) - In the past few weeks, I have been writing articles about the maker of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma and their financial funding of pain organizations, in particular the American Pain Foundation (APF). Link to recent article provided here: OxyContin Manufacturer Purdue Pharma Subject of Senate Investigation.
Members of Senate Finance Committee
Baucus, Max (MT), Chairman
Rockefeller, John D. (WV)
Conrad, Kent (ND)
Bingaman, Jeff (NM)
Kerry, John F. (MA)
Wyden, Ron (OR)
Schumer, Charles E. (NY)
Stabenow, Debbie (MI)
Cantwell, Maria (WA)
Nelson, Bill (FL)
Menendez, Robert (NJ)
Carper, Thomas R. (DE)
Cardin, Benjamin L. (MD)
Hatch, Orrin G. (UT), Ranking Member
Grassley, Chuck (IA)
Snowe, Olympia J. (ME)
Kyl, Jon (AZ)
Crapo, Mike (ID)
Roberts, Pat (KS)
Enzi, Michael B. (WY)
Cornyn, John (TX)
Coburn, Tom (OK)
Thune, John (SD)
Burr, Richard (NC)
As I shook his hand, I told him that he should be ashamed of himself for defending a company responsible for such devastation in lives. He did not reply, but walked away. Last I saw, Oklahoma leads the country in prescription drug deaths and addictions -- and OxyContin being the leader of the pack in prescription drugs. Hopefully Senator Coburn will not be in "defending" mode of pharma in the Senate's investigation of Purdue Pharma and other pharmaceutical companies as well as the American Pain Foundation and paid physician consultants in their pushing of opioids.
I wonder if the Senate will find it interesting that not only was Udell general counsel of Purdue Pharma, but also an "inventor." Udell pleaded guilty to misleading physicians and patients about the dangers of OxyContin. So when Purdue Pharma faces the deadline of June 8 to produce the documents and information the Senate Finance Committee has demanded, will they reply "Wish we could have complied, but you see we have this patent -- and all that information was eaten by a worm. Did we do something wrong -- again?"
Here is the patent information with Purdue Pharma's General Counsel, Howard Udell's name on it.
One physician being investigated by the U.S. Senate is Scott M. Fishman, MD author of a book entitled "Responsible Opioid Prescribing: A Physician's Guide" distributed by the Federation of State Medical Boards as a guide to physicians in pushing opioids for all levels of pain. In a recent statement, Dr. Fishman said he was not paid for his work on the book and does not receive royalties. He acknowledged that when the first edition of the book was written in 2006, the science on the effectiveness of opioids "was not robust" and data on the severe risks "had yet to emerge.” Since then, new data on risks, including unintended overdose deaths, have emerged, he said.
The new risk information will be included in an expanded version of the book that will be published by the spring, he stated. Since every state in the country was dealing with OxyContin deaths, addictions and abuse well before Dr. Fishman wrote his guidebook minimizing the risks of prescribing opioids to patients by physicians, the good doctor's defense statement is a difficult pill to swallow. To quote Mark Twain: "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."
LP -- To be loved by you is the greatest gift I could ever ask for -- even ducks and monkeys know it.
Salem-News.com Investigative Reporter Marianne Skolek, is an Activist for Victims of OxyContin and Purdue Pharma throughout the United States and Canada. In July 2007, she testified against Purdue Pharma in Federal Court in Virginia at the sentencing of their three CEO's - Michael Friedman, Howard Udell and Paul Goldenheim - who pleaded guilty to charges of marketing OxyContin as less likely to be addictive or abused to physicians and patients. She also testified against Purdue Pharma at a Judiciary Hearing of the U.S. Senate in July 2007. Marianne works with government agencies and private attorneys in having a voice for her daughter Jill, who died in 2002 after being prescribed OxyContin, as well as the voice for scores of victims of OxyContin. She has been involved in her work for the past 8-1/2 years and is currently working on a book that exposes Purdue Pharma for their continued criminal marketing of OxyContin.
Marianne is a nurse having graduated in 1991 as president of her graduating class. She also has a Paralegal certification. Marianne served on a Community Service Board for the Courier News, a Gannet newspaper in NJ writing articles predominantly regarding AIDS patients and their emotional issues. She was awarded a Community Service Award in 1993 by the Hunterdon County, NJ HIV/AIDS Task Force in recognition of and appreciation for the donated time, energy and love in facilitating a Support Group for persons with HIV/AIDS.
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