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Mar-11-2012 22:33printcomments

Eric Holder Held the Future of OxyContin and America's Safety - and Let it Go

The AG's dirty secret led to thousands of deaths; now a Congressman is waging a battle against federal powers including the FDA, over deadly OxyContin.

Eric Holder
Eric Holder - not a national hero, but a savior of the deadly drug OxyContin. Its criminally convicted manufacturers, Purdue Pharma, were defended by lawyer Eric Holder who saved from going to prison. Holder could have done what was right...

(MYRTLE BEACH,SC) - "Stonewalling" -- stalling or delaying especially by refusing to answer questions or cooperate.

Margaret Hamburg, MD, head of the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has mastered "stonewalling talk tactics" while lives are being lost to death and addiction with the over-manufacturing and over-prescribing of OxyContin.

Congressman Hal Rogers of Kentucky has called out to Hamburg as well as the country's attorney general, Eric Holder.

"You are in charge of the steering wheel here -- and if you won't do it, we'll do it for you."

- Congressman Hal Rogers of Kentucky to Margaret Hamburg, MD, head of the FDA

Congressman Hal Rogers of Kentucky has long lamented about his state being immersed in death and addiction due to the drug, OxyContin. "Crooked doctors operating these pill mills" in Florida are running rampant and are fueling the flow of illegally obtained prescription drugs to states such as Kentucky.

I'll begin with Attorney General Eric Holder and why the congressman shouldn't be too optimistic that Holder will take Kentucky's plight seriously.

Unfortunately Congressman Rogers don't look for help from Attorney General Holder. While in private practice as an attorney, he defended Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin -- you know the drug that is destroying Kentucky and every other state in the country. On June 1, 2011 I wrote an article exposing Holder for his ties to the pharmaceutical company, Purdue Pharma. Here is the excerpt from that article: Eric Holder, our current Attorney General, went from prosecuting bad guys to shielding them.

    In 2001, Darrell McGraw Jr., the longtime attorney general of the state of West Virginia, filed a civil case against Purdue Pharma alleging that the privately held pharmaceutical company had engaged in "coercive and deceptive" marketing of OxyContin.
    McGraw further charged that Purdue had used misleading advertisements and had promoted the inappropriate use of OxyContin for minor pain. His lawsuit further stated that Purdue had offered doctors free trips to “pain management” seminars where the firm pitched the drug as safe and effective for treating minor pain – without mentioning the drug was supposed to be used only for severe pain and easily abused.
    McGraw also alleged that Purdue had told “pharmacists that they can get in trouble if they do not fill prescriptions, even if they believe someone may be an abuser of the drug.” He maintained that the firm’s underhanded practices had caused users in West Virginia to become addicted to the drug.
    And he noted that while Purdue’s annual sales revenue from OxyContin had surpassed $1 billion, the state of West Virginia was saddled with the cost of treating people who had become addicted due to misuse of the drug -- encouraged by Purdue Pharma.
    The lawsuit was a big worry to Purdue -- very specifically they had a lot to lose financially. This suit was a serious threat to the corrupt drugmaker, and they eventually called in Eric Holder, an attorney working for Covington and Burling in Washington, DC to cover up their deceptive deeds.
    The morning the case was to go to trial, in November 2004, Holder helped negotiate a settlement. Working in the judge’s chambers in West Virginia, he put together an agreement under which the firm would have to pay $10 million over four years into drug abuse and education programs in West Virginia -- and Purdue Pharma would not have to admit any wrongdoing!
    Eric Holder managed to keep the criminal activity of Purdue Pharma quiet since there would be no trial and no documents or testimony to be made public. Did Holder's "hands in the pockets of Purdue Pharma" allow this epidemic of OxyContin death and addiction throughout the country to perpetuate? Many people think it did.
Below are two links to congressional hearings held in March 2011 in which Congressman Rogers of challenged Dr. Hamburg to address the OxyContin surge of deaths in his state. I watched both videos many times and each time I viewed them, I was struck by Congressman Rogers' total frustration at Dr. Hamburg's repeated "stonewalling" by not responding to his concerns. As frustrating as the videos were for me to watch, I was also struck by the body language of Dr. Hamburg and her cheerful facial expressions.

Here are some quotes from the congressional hearings:

Dr. Hamburg testified about the FDA "protecting patients" -- "applying the best possible science" and "past successes"

Congressman Rogers talked of "regulating prescription drugs" and the fact that there is a "400% increase in the last decade in opioid drug abuse." Here are but a few of the congressman's comments directed to Dr. Hamburg:

            FDA's Margaret Hamburg, MD and Congressman Hal Rogers of Kentucky

Regulatory needs to do their part.

In 1995, the FDA approved OxyContin. Purdue Pharma took an aggressive marketing stand -- they underplayed the dangers of OxyContin.

Purdue Pharma chased down physicians to prescribe the drug.

Have some OxyContin for a sore toe --- moderate pain.

The FDA has to be a partner in this fight. These potent drugs have to be more regulated. 3 people will die every day in Kentucky to OxyContin overdose -- the FDA needs to join the fight.

Rogers goes on further to say to Hamburg "Can I help you spell Broward County, Florida?" Hamburg at one point references the "pipeline" of OxyContin from New England to Florida called "Flamingo Road." With an annoying smile, Hamburg quizzically says to Rogers "Flamingo Road -- is that what you call it?"

No Dr. Hamburg that's what the whole country calls it -- Flamingo Road. Strange that the "watchdog" for the safety of the American people would not know the reference to Flamingo Road. Maybe the "watchdog" needs to be more of a pit bull and stop laying down and rolling over for the pharmaceutical industry.

Hamburg further states to Rogers "Maybe I should go to Broward County." Dr. Hamburg should go to every state in the country and watch the drowning in OxyContin firsthand. The drownings that could be prevented by regulating OxyContin for "severe" pain only and stopping the double talk and stall tactics. Congressman Rogers was visibly annoyed by Dr. Hamburg's comments such as "The FDA can make a targeted difference" when they have allowed the tens of thousands of deaths and addictions to OxyContin to run rampant and escalate throughout the country since 1995.

In total frustration, Congressman Rogers lashes out at Dr. Hamburg and says "It's really simple -- can't you change the formula -- leave out moderate." In other words, a drug as lethal as OxyContin should only be prescribed for severe pain -- if at all.

We've had enough Dr. Hamburg. OxyContin is ravaging every state and tens of thousands of families have been torn apart by this drug. Canada has released a statement that the marketing of OxyContin is the cause for their addiction epidemic. So wipe the grin off your face Dr. Hamburg. Stop stonewalling when confronted with questions that affect the safety and lives of the American people. The victims of OxyContin, and their families, have lost their patience with the FDA -- reclassify the killer drug for "severe" pain only -- or take it off the market.

By your lack of action in saving lives, you are perpetuating more loss of life while the maker of OxyContin reaps huge financial profits.

Call it what you will Dr. Hamburg, but I call it blood on your hands - and huge pharmaceutical profits will not wash the blood off -- nor will stonewalling.

Video of Dr. Hamburg "stonewalling" Congressman Rogers about Kentucky's OxyContin plague

Part 1 -

Part 2

Congressman Hal Rogers initiative UNITE -

LP -- In a word "peace". Thank you for surrounding me with it and loving me. I return it to you a thousand times.

_________________________________ 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.

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Craig Dickinson September 27, 2014 6:12 am (Pacific time)

Americas drugs America , manufactures,markets and sells more Pharmesuticles than any country ! We also consume 90% of cocain,produced elsewhere and imported illegally! Heroin, from so.america or AFGANASTN , gets here magically also. The pharmaceutical manufacturers( major politicle Lobbiest) test who ? US !,for ten yrs. to get FDA approval for sale ...then very quickly at the end of their television advertisements, run through the side effects( WOW), as they try to market their wonderful DRUGS! Billions in sales, legally n trillions illegally...who's consuming all this crap ? Than we ask,who's financing these powerfull cartels? Why are we complaining about all the things WE DO, as we pretend we don't !, Craig /Dad-2 DAAD Drug Addicts Against DRUGS

Diana Goodwin July 13, 2012 1:53 pm (Pacific time)

"When used as recommended and as prescribed, OxyContin and Oxycodone are quite safe"-Bob. Wrong, Bob, wrong. Would you like to come talk to my 78 yo Oxy dependent (since the 1990's) mother and my incarcerated 22 yo addict son? Big Pharma needs to go spend some Big Time in jail.

Derek W Meyer March 12, 2012 4:12 pm (Pacific time)

A drug is an inanimate entity with no will of its own. It is not capable of "destroying the country". This is a mindless piece of fear-mongering propaganda.

Editor: Too bad you are wrong.  I can smell you shills from a mile off at any rate.  I know you fear the day that your industry is a thing of the past, it is shameful unscrupulous behavior, people have every right to expect that their own FDA will protect them from medical scams like OxyContin, they had effective pain drugs long ago.  You are the remorseless propaganda patrol, we write truth and it hurts.

Bob Gallagher March 12, 2012 2:51 pm (Pacific time)

When used as recommended and as prescribed, OxyContin and Oxycodone are quite safe. The problem comes, as usual, with drug abuse. Hold the drug abusers accountable for their actions. When someone drinks too much, speeds the wrong way down the interstate and kills someone, you don't blame Budweiser or Toyota for the death. Personal responsibility cures 99% of everything. The abuse of this drug is the fault of the abuser, not the manufacterer. On a related note: if you would like to see Attorney General Eric Holder fired, vote out Barack Obama. When Obama leaves, he takes Holder with him.

Erich Curnow March 12, 2012 6:12 am (Pacific time)

Thank you for your ongoing coverage and efforts to create public awareness of this epidemic. Please see my work at

I have taken to using your phrasing in terms of "criminally convicted" and used your article as a linked source in this most recent posting (above). You can click on my name to see others. Glad we are on the same side of the issue.


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