Was That Wrong? Nobody Told Me That Was Wrong!


George Costanza in Seinfeld would frequently try to escape responsibility for having committed a particularly egregious act by pleading “…Nobody told me that was wrong. If someone would have told me…” After leaving the NY Yankees, George must have joined Purdue Pharma.

The LA Times reports that at a recent drug dependency conference, a Purdue scientist disclosed for the first time the existence of a database of 1,800 doctors that Purdue suspects of recklessly prescribing potent painkiller OxyContin. Virtually none of these physicians has been identified to law enforcement (only 154 by company records).

Instead, the company instructed their sales reps to not call on these “risky” providers. What?

Is it because these guys are such great customers there is no need to call upon them? Or perhaps it’s so Purdue can distance themselves from these impending train wrecks while continuing to sell product through them.

In 1996 OxyContin was introduced as a non-addictive painkiller. This encouraged many physicians who would not otherwise prescribe narcotics to jump into the market. After all, it’s non-addictive, right? No harm here. If it doesn’t work, we’ll just stop.

Well, $27 billion in sales later, we find that not to be the case. Purdue promoted the idea that increasing drug deaths were fueled by pharmacy robberies, doctor-shopping patients and teens raiding their parents’ medicine cabinets. All the while, they were building a private database of “risky” physicians who were facilitating the types of drug abuse that are now considered epidemic.

Purdue contends that policing physicians is not their responsibility. “We don’t have the ability to take the prescription pad out of their hands.” We can help you with that.

Call us. We can do better.

William Faris, JD
Chief Executive Officer

Posted in Bill's Favorite Files, OMCA