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Jun-21-2020 12:55printcomments

Who Will Go to Prison Next: Purdue Pharma? The Sackler Family?

Insys Therapeutics founder, John Kapoor is serving a prison term -- why not Purdue Pharma and the Sackler Family?

John Kapoor
John Kapoor's arrest was a "warning shot" for corporate America.
Image: Frontline (PBS)

(MYRTLE BEACH, SC) - Tuesday evening, June 23, PBS Frontline will air an hour episode on the sordid crime spree by Insys Therapeutics, maker of Subsys (fentanyl), resulting in a brave attorney representing a family in the death of their young daughter because she was prescribed Subsys for non-cancer treatment.

The senseless death drove an attorney to assist the U.S. Senate in its investigation of Insys Therapeutics with the damning evidence he uncovered which helped lead to the convictions and prison sentences of executives of the disgraced pharmaceutical company.

Here is a preview of PBS's Frontline segment on Tuesday evening: "Opioids, Bribery And Wall Street: The Inside Story Of A Disgraced Drugmaker" (https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/opioid-drugmaker-insys-bribing-doctors-fentanyl-painkiller/)

Below is the article I wrote and had published in November 2017 highlighting the heroics of Richard Hollawell, attorney in bringing a family a degree of justice in the death of their daughter.

Mr. Hollawell will be representing this family in a malpractice suit in the near future. I will be covering that trial as it evolves.

I remain curious as to how the makers of OxyContin, the Sackler Family's privately held pharmaceutical company, Purdue Pharma has evaded justice in the deaths and addictions of hundreds of thousands of victims -- with only the bogus threat of bankruptcy looming over their heads.

Where is the U.S. Senate and attorneys of the caliber of Richard Hollawell in taking on the Sackler family and Purdue Pharma?

_________________________________________

(Article below first Published: 2017)

Heroic Attorneys Lead the Way Against Opioid Epidemic

Attorneys are becoming the heroes in the prescription opioid epidemic ravaging the US!

Last month, "CBS 60 Minutes" and "The Washington Post1" did an explosive expose on a former Drug Enforcement Agency official whistle blower, Joe Rannazzisi -- who was brave beyond words to expose political wrongdoings fueling the prescription opioid epidemic.

Rannazzisi wears several hats -- former DEA official, pharmacist and attorney.

There is another unsung hero in this opioid epidemic. His name is Richard (Rick) Hollawell and he is an attorney practicing law in my home state of N.J.

Rick Hollawell represents a family in N.J. whose daughter Sarah Fuller died in 2016 at the age of 32 as a result of being prescribed Subsys (fentanyl).

Rick Hollawell, one attorney
giving hope for victims of opioid
addiction and death.

Subsys manufactured by Insys is approved to be prescribed as a sublingual spray approved by the FDA to treat breakthrough cancer pain. Sarah Fuller was prescribed Subsys by her physician -- although she didn't have cancer.

Sarah had neck and back pain resulting from two car accidents. Why would her doctor prescribe a dangerous opioid intended for cancer pain to Sarah? Rick Hollawell wondered why also and wanted answers.

Fentanyl is a man-made opioid that is 100 times more powerful than morphine. Sarah Fuller's physician made no mention to her that there were very real dangers with being prescribed Subsys, or that it was only intended for cancer patients.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri conducted an investigation into Insys and released a report and audio implicating the company in deceitful marketing of a very dangerous opioid.

Employees claiming to be from doctor’s offices used a toll-free phone number — later traced to Insys — to call insurance providers and give false information about patients to increase profits in prescribing Subsys to unsuspecting patients -- who did not have cancer such as Sarah Fuller.

Rick Hollawell and Sarah's mother traveled to Missouri to testify in front of Senator McCaskill about the criminal activity of Insys resulting in the death of a 32-year old bride-to-be.

As a result of Senator McCaskill's investigation into Insys and subsequent report -- as well as a brave attorney by the name of Rick Hollawell, the Fuller family has some justice for Sarah.

John Kapoor, founder and multi-billionaire of Insys was recently arrested and charged with the illegal distribution of a fentanyl spray intended for cancer patients.

Is it an injustice that in 2007, Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin was charged in federal court and pleaded guilty to criminally marketing their dangerous and highly addictive opioid -- yet there were no arrests?

Purdue Pharma's plea agreement was drawn up by none other than "America's Mayor" Rudy Giuliani.

Rudy Giuliani specifically had the plea agreement not involve any arrests or jail.

Fast forward these past ten years and the devastation caused by a dangerous opioid called OxyContin. Justice from "America's Mayor?" Not even close.

For now I am grateful for two attorneys named Joe Rannazzisi and Rick Hollawell. I am proud to know them and they give me hope for victims of horrific addiction and death, by their bravery.

Now it's time for law firms throughout the country representing states suing pharmaceutical companies for the devastation caused by the over-prescribing of dangerous opioids to follow Rannazzisi and Hollawell's lead and give meaning to the word "justice".

It is long overdue.

1Here is the link to "THE DRUG INDUSTRY’S TRIUMPH OVER THE DEA" (The Washington Post): https://lnkd.in/dcqtrrU.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.