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May-11-2011 19:29printcomments

Georgia - Yet Another State Dealing With an Epidemic of OxyContin Addiction, Death and Abuse

Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin, lied about the addictive and abusive qualities of the drug, unleashing an unprecedented epidemic of death and addiction/

Artwork by Tim King

(ATLANTA) - While the State of Georgia anxiously awaits a recently approved prescription drug monitoring database allowing the tracking of potentially addictive prescriptions which will save lives by identifying drug abusers -- an argument is taking place among lawmakers.

State lawmakers who approved establishing the database did not provide the $400,000 to $1.2 million it could take to get a system up and running -- and they don't know how or when it will get the money to start the database.

The irony of this funding to start the system could come from drug companies -- namely Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin, who is responsible for the state's drug epidemic -- or the state could win a federal grant. Reports indicate it will be at least 2013 before the database is online --because the state Drugs and Narcotics Agency, responsible for its setup, is trying to determine how to best implement the database.

Drugs and Narcotics Agency head Rick Allen expects it to be more clear late this summer -- too late to meet a mid-May deadline for federal money.

“There is a lot of concern over future funding if the grants dry up or Georgia doesn’t qualify because of how tight the restrictions are that were written into the bill,” Allen wrote in response to questions from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the database.  Those restrictions were needed to get the measure passed. The database would allow physicians and pharmacists to review patients’ opioid prescription history for controlled substances that can become addictive — specifically OxyContin.

Taking any help from Purdue Pharma -- or their funded organizations -- could be compared to Georgia asking the convicted Atlanta Child Murderer, Wayne Williams to assist law enforcement in solving murder cases.

Jack Killorin, who heads a federal anti-drug task force in Atlanta called the Atlanta High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, hopes a database will facilitate treatment, not arrests.

“The best answer, if someone has become addicted to prescription pain killers, is that a physician will address that in the course of treatment,” he said. “We can get people early on before they are seriously addicted.”

There are physicians and pharmacists who have a problem with theoretically acting as "police" and not as medical personnel in confronting their patients.

“We have no way of knowing the patients are the criminals,” said Dr. Marion O’Neill Lee, a pain management physician in Tifton. “The real key is to give legitimate physicians the ability to practice their medicine,” Lee said. “We want to work on a database, and hopefully that will stem the tide.”

Some independent pharmacists have decided not to carry OxyContin and other highly addictive prescription medications to avoid becoming a target for addicts and pill pushers.

“We don’t stock it, so no one breaks in for it and none of the wrong people get the prescription,” said Bobby Harrell, a pharmacist who co-owns Briarcliff Pharmacy in DeKalb County. “But I’m running off legitimate customers who might become regular customers once they’re over their pain from surgery or what have you.”

Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin, who lied about the addictive and abusive qualities of the drug and unleashed an unprecedented epidemic of death and addiction throughout the U.S. and Canada, recently had spokeswoman Libby Holman issue a statement saying "Purdue Pharma is open to working with the state (Georgia)."

An organization called the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI) will also be offering the State of Georgia their "help." NADDI is kept financially fat and well fed at conferences held at the best hotels in the country -- funded by Purdue Pharma.

If you go to the NADDI Georgia website, it will indicate "Click here to view the current RX Drug Statistics." But the breakdowns are for the years 2007 and 2008. To click and read the President of NADDI's letter, it is undated but references the year 2009. Appears NADDI may have been too busy at the Purdue Pharma "feeding trough" to keep their statistics current.

Taking any help from Purdue Pharma -- or their funded organizations -- could be compared to Georgia asking the convicted Atlanta Child Murderer, Wayne Williams to assist law enforcement in solving murder cases.

"To hell with them. When history is written they will be the sons of bitches - not I."
Harry S. Truman

LP - "A healthy relationship is one in which two people encourage each other to reach their respective goals while sharing each other's hopes and dreams."   Daisaku Ikeda (born 1928) Japanese philosopher 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 Correspondent,

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Jerry May 9, 2016 3:14 pm (Pacific time)

I am shocked by negative reviews of an epidemic currently killing 19 people each day. The addiction to oxycotin and oxycodone is inadvertent ignorance because patients are neither informed nor monitored for addictive behavoir, and once hooked the patient will not disclose the addiction because of the effects of withdrawals and enhanced cravings for each dose taken. My brother, his wife and son are hooked simply because they were told the drug was non-addictive. The pharma should be held accountable for the needless loss of precious life, as this drug promotes itself.

John Roberts May 14, 2011 6:41 pm (Pacific time)

Blaming Purdue, for the problems people have with drug addiction is like blaming Mexico or Columbia for the pot and cocaine problem in this country.

Everyone likes to find a scapegoat or someone with deep pockets to pick, rather than accept personal responsibility for one's actions.

It is truly sad that such demagoguery can be put in print with impunity. Fortunately, most law abiding, sensible people will read this and understand it for what it is.. a cheap attempt to pass the buck and blame someone else.
If Oxycontin was without value to the American public, the FDA would have pulled it long ago.

Editor: No it isn't John, it's like blaming the scummy drug dealer, not the country.  Purdue is a criminally convicted company, do you fail to know that?  The FDA is supposed to be a trustworthy company like the drug manufacturer but they didn't do their job either.  Drugs are addicting John, they are dangerous and lead to tragic deaths every day. The pill mills and unscrupulous doctors need no forgiving, they are playing with fire and you know it.  I'd call your comment cheap if anything here deserves that title.  

Liisa May 12, 2011 6:24 am (Pacific time)

I am so saddened by this --- The hard work of so many, and yet the knowledge gained from one state is refused to be believed by another.... ALL states need to have active efficient RX tracking database(s)... and physicians should ALWAYS have to check them -- I found it sickening that a physician would consider this policing -- if they want to write prescriptions for narcotics then they should be required to check the database! Since when is identifying an addiction problem with their own patients not considered good medicine? We are not asking they "turn them in.." we are asking them to get the patient HELP! So sad.... heartbreaking.... incomprehensible... inhuman!

Matt Johnson May 12, 2011 5:57 am (Pacific time)

Great article! This is one of the most important problems in this country and it cripples millions of people. God bless you Marianne for keeping true.

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