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Captain Richard Conklin and RX Patrol and When Does this Guy Sleep?Marianne Skolek Salem-News.com
The bigger picture behind local cases of Oxycontin theft.
(MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.) - Tim King sent me the following news article last night about a break-in to rob OxyContin at a Walgreens south of Portland.
I see stories of break-ins all over the U.S. and Canada every day. Most of the articles read as the one does below that Tim sent me:
News Release from: Clackamas Co. Sheriff's Office
OXYCONTIN MOTIVATES ARMED ROBBERY Posted: February 6th, 2010 3:48 PM
Clackamas County Sheriff's respond to an armed robbery motivated by desire to obtain OxyContin. This afternoon (02/05/2010) at 1:09 pm a lone woman went into the Walgreen's Pharmacy, 9159 SE 82nd Ave., in unincorporated Clackamas County south of the City of Portland. The female talked with the Pharmacist, said she had a gun and would shoot if she did not receive OxyContin. OxyContin is Purdue Pharma's brand for time-release single-ingredient oxycodone oral medication. Oxycodone is an opioid analgesic medication synthesized from opium-derived thebaine. OxyContin is designed to provide a sustained analgesic property (reduces the effects of intense pain). OxyContin is highly addictive.
The suspect is described as a white woman, 5'11" to 6' tall, she is further described as having a darker complexion with bruising and or discoloration on the left side of her face. This bruising is consistent with a person who is addicted to Opiate drugs like OxyContin. As a person suffering from an addiction, she will do just about anything to get the drug she craves, and as such she is potentially dangerous. This woman claims to be armed and caution should be used when she is located or spotted by citizens. The female was seen wearing a gray "hoody" sweatshirt pulled down over her hands. The woman fled on foot in an unknown direction from the Walgreen's and no vehicle was witnessed leaving the area. The robbery was captured on video and the video will be given to the press when it is available. The investigation is continuing and will be followed up on by Clackamas County Robbery Detectives.
Approximately two years ago, out of concern for the news stories every day about pharmacy robberies to obtain OxyContin, I emailed then CEO of Walgreens, Jeff Rein. Mr. Rein graciously replied to my email and we arranged to talk by telephone - a rather lengthy call, too. I asked him if Walgreens ever considered not stocking OxyContin in an effort to keep his employees safe. I have long thought that OxyContin prescriptions should be filled in a hospital pharmacy where there is a presence of hospital security and police. It might be a little inconvenient for the person picking up the prescription, but keeping pharmacists, pharmacy clerks and store personnel safe should be the priority. Since Walgreens are still being robbed - and many times at gunpoint for OxyContin - my guess is that the now retired Mr. Rein was met with some resistance if our discussion was, in fact, ever considered. Greg Wasson, the new CEO of Walgreens, may want to give it some renewed interest.
Since OxyContin break-ins and thefts at pharmacies is in epidemic proportions, the maker of the drug, Purdue Pharma formed an organization called RX Patrol. The premise of RX Patrol is to reward an informant for information leading to the arrest of the person attempting to rob a pharmacy. My first thought, of course, was how does RX Patrol function since as readers know, anything Purdue Pharma does "to protect the public" I am very suspect of because of the criminal way they marketed OxyContin. And also since I was unable to find the word "OxyContin" on the RX Patrol website -- I thought maybe they set it up like "Where's Waldo" on a page.
So here is some of what I found regarding RX Patrol. This is straight off the website:
In an ongoing effort to combat the abuse and diversion of prescription drugs, Purdue Pharma L.P. has conceived, developed and funded an information clearinghouse for data related to pharmacy robberies, burglaries and theft that involve the loss of controlled substances. RxPATROL® (Pattern Analysis Tracking Robberies and Other Losses) is an initiative designed to collect, collate, analyze and disseminate pharmacy theft intelligence to law enforcement throughout the nation.
In support of RxPATROL®, Purdue Pharma L.P. has secured the services of a senior law enforcement executive who will work independently to conduct intelligence analysis utilizing a leading incident analysis software platform capable of analyzing data, identifying trends and incorporating streaming video and CCTV photos.
The theft related data will be provided directly to RxPATROL® from the pharmacy community on all incidents of pharmacy theft involving controlled substances. RxPATROL® will in turn analyze the information and provide it to the respective law enforcement agencies for action as they deem appropriate.
RxPATROL® is designed to gather and disseminate critical information to help protect pharmacists, guard against potential robberies and assist law enforcement in their efforts to successfully apprehend and prosecute those involved in controlled substance pharmacy crime.
RX Patrol is monitored by a Stamford, Connecticut Police Captain named Richard Conklin. Purdue Pharma is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut.
Police Captain Richard Conklin was the highest-earning city employee in 2008 for the fourth year in a row, grossing $276,258 in city wages and extra-duty pay. Police Captain Richard Conklin was the highest-paid city employee for the fifth year in a row, earning $274,782 also in city wages and extra-duty pay in 2009. These earnings do not reflect his Purdue Pharma earnings.
Any members of industry or law enforcement can enter a pharmaceutical crime into the RxPATROL system by going to the website and clicking the link titled 'Report an Incident.' I believe Conklin still administers the RX Patrol site through his private consulting firm, Talon Inc. Talon appears to be a private company located in Norwalk, CT. It was established in 2003. Previous estimates show the company had an annual revenue of $85,000 and employs a staff of approximately 1.
It appears the most recent press releases showing the tip leads and $1,000 rewards is July 2008 -- nothing shown for 2009.
The most recent "pertinent" news articles date back to 2007.
Anyone having information on a pharmacy break-in, reports it to RX Patrol and gets a reward of $1,000. Since Purdue Pharma is a multi-billion dollar corporation, I am wondering if "reward" is the correct word to use.
The RX Patrol January "tip of the month" was most robberies are perpetrated by a white male in his 20's. Race: white (88%); Gender: male (93%); Age: 20s (58%)
The RX Patrol current "tip of the month" indicates that most robbers will enter (88%) and exit (79%) through the front door.
Purdue Pharma's headquarters is located at One Stamford Forum, the same as RX Patrol's address. Maybe Captain Conklin should position himself in the lobby to "combat abuse and diversion of prescription drugs." The lobby is likely loaded with drug lords in 3-piece suits entering and exiting the front door -- RX Patrol can use that as their tip of the month for March.
Salem-News.com Reporter Marianne Skolek, is an Activist for Victims of OxyContin 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 who pled 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 7-1/2 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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