“ABINGDON, Va., May 10 —The company that makes the narcotic painkiller OxyContin and three current and former executives are expected to plead guilty today in federal court here to criminal charges that they misled regulators, doctors and patients about the drug’s risk of addiction and its potential to be abused, federal officials said.
To resolve criminal and civil charges related to the drug’s “misbranding”, the parent of Purdue Pharma, the company that markets OxyContin, has agreed to pay more than $600 million in fines, these officials said. That is the third-highest amount ever paid by a drug company in such a case.
Also, in a rare move, three executives of Purdue Pharma, including its president and it top lawyer, are expected to plead guilty today as individuals to misbranding charges, a criminal violation. They have agreed to pay a total of $34.5 million in fines, said these officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because court proceedings have not been completed.”
Oh dear. What’s Rush’s maid going to do now?
“On October 3 2003 the National Enquirer reported that Limbaugh was being investigated for illegally obtaining the prescription drugs OxyContin and hydrocodone Other news outlets quickly confirmed the investigation.
On October 10 , 2003, Limbaugh admitted to listeners on his radio show that he was addicted to prescription painkillers and stated that he would enter inpatient treatment for 30 days, immediately following the broadcast.
Limbaugh has said his addiction to painkillers came as a result several years of severe back pain heightened by a botched surgery intended to correct those problems.
A subsequent investigation into whether Limbaugh had violated Florida’s doctor shopping laws was launched by the Palm Beach, which raised privacy issues when investigators seized Limbaugh’s private medical records looking for evidence of crimes. On November 9 , 2005 , following two years of investigations, Assistant State Attorney James L. Martz requested the court to set aside Limbaugh’s doctor-patient confidentiality rights and allow the state to question his physicians, stating it was necessary because “I have no idea if Mr. Limbaugh has completed the elements of any offense yet.” Limbaugh’s attorney opposed the prosecutor’s efforts to interview his doctors on the basis of patient privacy rights, and argued that the prosecutor has in fact violated his Fourth Amendment civil rights by illegally seizing his medical records. The ACLU issued a statement in agreement. The Florida courts ultimately ruled for Limbaugh. On December 12 , 2005 , Judge David F. Crow delivered a ruling prohibiting the State of Florida from questioning Limbaugh’s physicians about “the medical condition of the patient and any information disclosed to the health care practitioner by the patient in the course of the care and treatment of the patient.”
On April 28, 2006, Mr. Limbaugh and his attorney, Roy Black, went to the Palm Beach County Jail to surrender after a warrant was issued for his arrest. According to Teri Barbera, spokeswoman for the Sheriff, during his arrest, Mr. Limbaugh was booked , photographed, and fingerprinted, but not handcuffed and then was released after about an hour on $3,000 bail. Prosecutors agreed to drop the charge if Limbaugh paid $30,000 to defray the cost of the investigation and completed an eighteen month therapy regimen with his physician
Limbaugh asserted that the state’s settlement agreement resulted from a lack of evidence supporting the charge of “doctor shopping.” Under the terms of the agreement, Limbaugh may not own a firearm and must continue to submit to random drug testing, which he acknowledges having undergone since 2003.
Limbaugh has, throughout the years, condemned illegal drug use on his radio broadcast and has stated that those convicted of drug crimes should be sent to jail.
Roy Black , one of Limbaugh’s attorneys, stated that “Rush Limbaugh was singled out for prosecution because of who he is. We believe the state attorney’s office is applying a double standard.”
Very Paris Hilton.
“OxyContin is a powerful, long-acting narcotic that provides relief of serious pain for up to 12 hours. Initially, Purdue Pharma contended that OxyContin, because of its time-release formulation, posed a lower threat of abuse and addiction to patients than traditional, shorter-acting painkillers like Percocet or Vicodin.
That claim became the lynchpin of the most aggressive marketing campaign ever undertaken by a pharmaceutical company for such a drug. Just a few years after the drug’s introduction in 1996, annual sales reached $1 billion. Purdue Pharma heavily promoted OxyContin to doctors like general practitioners who had little training in the treatment of serious pain or in recognizing signs of drug abuse in patients.
But both experienced drug abusers and novices, including teenagers, soon discovered that chewing an OxyContin or crushing one and then snorting the powder or injecting it with a needle produced a high as powerful as heroin. By 2000, several parts of the United States, particularly rural areas, began to seeing skyrocketing rates of addiction and crime related to the drug’s use.”
HOO-YAH! No wonder Oxy quickly gained the moniker “Hillbilly Heroin”
Doubtless it was on an Oxy High that Rusty first became infatuated with my Los Angeles Times op-ed, inspiring him to order an underling write a “parody” song for him, that he has croaked with increasing frenzy in the wake of the firing of noted racist Don Imus. Taken up by an ever-blinkered “mainstream” Rusty’s refrain has become a story that refuses to die
But now that Oxy’s off the market will Rush put a sock in it? Hardly.
But what can he do for uh. . .inspiration ? Pop Vicotin like Winona Ryder?
Or maybe he’ll turn into a good old-fashioned addict of the Old School and take up Smack.
And on that note (hey, you all knew this was coming) it’s time to tell Nico to “Sing Out Louise!”
“Janitor of lunacy
Paralyze my infancy
Petrify the empty cradle
Bring hope to them and me
Janitor of tyranny
Testify my vanity
Mortalize my memory
Deceive the Devil’s deed
Tolerate my jealousy
Recognize the desperate need
Janitor of lunacy
Identify my destiny
Revive the living dream
Forgive their begging scream
Seal the giving of their seed
Disease the breathing grief”