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Jun-21-2011 17:45printcomments

New York Times article on OxyContin being 'harder to abuse' leaves big questions

Were the NY Times staff aware that Purdue Pharma had a patent to make OxyContin non abusive at the launch of the drug?


(MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.) - On June 16, the "New York Times" published a story regarding OxyContin being harder to abuse -- but users "persevere." The writers referenced a drug abuser in Brockton, Mass. and the fact that the "reformulated" OxyContin was harder to crush and was difficult to be snorted, injected or abused.

The news article goes on to say that "A powerful narcotic meant for cancer patients and others with searing pain, OxyContin is designed to slowly release its active ingredient, oxycodone, over 12 hours." Unfortunately the "New York Times" overlooked an important piece of information in their reporting and that is -- OxyContin has been pushed by its manufacturer, Purdue Pharma, for "moderate" pain not "searing pain."

Unsuspecting people are being prescribed the drug for pain as benign as tooth extractions because the company criminally marketed the powerful narcotic as less likely to be addictive or abused.  These people prescribed OxyContin by duped physicians then enter the world of "addiction" and the hell it holds for them.

The NY Times further states that "Purdue Pharma may have succeeded for now in reducing illicit demand for its reformulated drug. But in several dozen interviews over the last few months, drug abuse experts, law enforcement officials and addicts said the reformulation had only driven up interest for other narcotics."

It's too bad the NY Times wasn't aware that Purdue Pharma had a patent for a "tamper-resistant oral opioid agonist formulation" before OxyContin became the tidal wave of addiction and death throughout the country. One of the inventors on the patent was Curtis Wright, MD, who was involved in the approval process of OxyContin while employed at the FDA -- and subsequently jumped ship to work for the maker of OxyContin. Conflict of interest?  Ask the FDA about that. Another "inventor" on this patent was J. David Haddox, MD, the gatekeeper at Purdue Pharma, who when OxyContin was launched tried to convince the medical profession that there was no such thing as "addiction" -- it was "pseudo-addiction."

The NY Times continues in its reporting by saying “It’s just a matter of switching,” said John Burke, commander of the drug task force in Warren County, Ohio, and president of the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators. “If I’m an addict, I’m going to find a drug that works.”

Mr. Burke said abuse of other oxycodone drugs was already growing before OxyContin was reformulated last August, partly because the other drugs are cheaper and because OxyContin had become harder to find on the street. Many doctors had stopped prescribing it because of its stigma and switched to other oxycodone drugs, Mr. Burke said.

Since Mr. Burke is a colleague of J. David Haddox, who brought us the myth of "pseudo-addiction" and Burke's organization the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI) is funded by Purdue Pharma andI has been "rewarded" by being housed and fed in the finest hotels in the country for their conferences -- all by Purdue Pharma -- I don't know if Burke's comments could be considered unbiased.

Interestingly, the NY Times references "Purdue Pharma should have reformulated OxyContin sooner, said Steven Tolman, a state senator in Massachusetts who led a commission that investigated OxyContin abuse. The company asked the Food and Drug Administration to approve the new version for sale in November 2007; it won the approval in April 2010. It is the first painkiller reformulated to deter abuse, according to the F.D.A., which is now studying several proposed reformulations of other opiate drugs".

“It should not clear their conscience,” Mr. Tolman said of the change. “These people are scientists. Why didn’t they do this years ago?”

No Mr. Tolman, Purdue Pharma's conscience won't be clear -- they have no conscience. They lied to the medical profession, minimized the addictive and abusive qualities of OxyContin, and are responsible for thousands of deaths and addictions and an epidemic in this country of unparalleled proportion.  Ask Ohio, Florida, Maine and the rest of the country how they're dealing with the OxyContin epidemic.

The FDA is now requiring Purdue Pharma to perform clinical trials before it can claim that the new version of OxyContin is less abusive. Of course, me being the cynic and not trusting convicted felons to be honest in their clinical trials -- I wouldn't believe anything that Purdue Pharma reports to the FDA -- even if their tongues were notarized.<

Libby Holman, a Purdue Pharma spokeswoman said that based on initial data and reports, the company is “cautiously optimistic” that the reformulation will eventually prove less susceptible to abuse. But long-term studies will be necessary, she said in an e-mail, adding, “It is still too early to make any conclusions about the product’s impact on abuse and misuse in real-world settings.”

I still haven't figured out why Holman doesn't use her title of Associate Director of Public Affairs, but rather uses "spokeswoman" -- kind of covert sounding, I guess.

In "real-world settings" Ms. Holman, spokeswoman, your criminal company lied and now uses the words "cautiously optimistic" -- I don't believe the families who have lost loved ones to death and addiction think anything that you say is "optimistic."

Maybe Ms. Holman should be questioning why the pharmaceutical company she is a "spokeswoman" for has a patent for self-destruction documents or email messaging systems that automatically destroys documents or email messages at a predetermined time by attaching a "virus" to the document or email message.

A virus in the form of a Trojan horse is attached to the file -- such as an email message or document when it is created. The virus contains a portion of executable code or an executable program which instructs the computer to overwrite and/or delete the file to which the virus is attached at a desired time. Since the virus is attached to the file, it will travel with the file even when the file is copied, forwarded, or saved to disks or tape drives.

Wonder what Purdue Pharma is trying to hide? Care to comment spokeswoman Holman?


Udell, Howard R. (US)
Baker, Stuart D. (US)
Kappel, Cary S. (US)
Sherman, Greg M. (US)
Ries, William (US)
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LP - For love, laughter, our parallel paths, our never ending mutual encouragement, dialogue and support -- you are my shelf I can retreat to.

_________________________________ 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.

Marianne Skolek
National Activist for Victims of OxyContin and
Purdue Pharma - a criminally convicted pharmaceutical company
Staff Writer,

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.

Anonymous June 22, 2011 5:34 pm (Pacific time)

OMG - Now we have inane comments that chastise those who comment? Salem News has sunk to a new low! Why do you think your comment is more important than mariel, Dan? You may think you are a supporter of truth, but you are shallow-minded and self-centered.

Editor: Sorry about that, there are new editors here and we are all getting on the same page.  Don't worry, this is not some new trend, the other comment was revised, just a bit of unfamiliarity and we will always be consistent, thanks and sorry!

mariel chandler June 22, 2011 8:39 am (Pacific time)

Has anyone attempted to sue Purdue for the damage they have done to our society? Is there a class action lawsuit out there? I would so love to join in making them in some, funerals, etc pay for what they have created!

Editor: This is a good point, perhaps Marianne has some answers for you, we will check.

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