Private citizens can help fight abuse of prescription drugs

Thursday, October 22, 2020

A company that some see as the worst of “Big Pharma” is paying an $8 billion settlement on guilty pleas of conspiracy to defraud the United States, violating federal anti-kickback laws, but some think that OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma is getting off easy.

The company is being taken away from the wealthy Sackler family and made a “public benefit company” to be governed by a trust that has to balance the trust’s interests against those of the American public and public health.

The Sacklers, who say they acted “ethically and lawfully,” could still face criminal charges, but any convictions resulting from an ongoing investigation are unlikely to placate families of more than 470,000 people who have died from opioid addiction since 2000. They point to greed that allegedly caused the company to allow a highly-addictive drug to be prescribed to many people, when it should have been reserved for only those who were experiencing severe pain.

Purdue is admitting it misled the Drug Enforcement Administration by falsely reporting it had an effective program to avoid drug diversion and boosted manufacturing quotas through misleading information.

The company also admits to paying doctors through a speaking program to persuade them to write more prescriptions for the company’s opioids and using electronic health records software to influence prescription of pain medicine.

While victims and their families wait for the system to do more to fight abuse of prescription drugs, there’s something the average citizen can do to help.

The DEA is conducting its 19th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday at multiple locations across the country.

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number o accidental poisonings and overdoses due to the drugs.

Studies shos that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

You can find the nearest one by visiting https://bit.ly/2FSdH38 or by contacting your pharmacy.

More information is available at www.deatakeback.com

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