The manufacturer of the prescription painkiller OxyContin, Purdue Pharma, has compiled a list of hundreds of doctors who the company suspects of prescribing the drug to addicts or drug dealers. However, despite the effect that this list could have on efforts to prevent prescription drug overdose deaths, Purdue Pharma has refused to turn the list over to law enforcement officials or medical authorities who could make use of it.
According to a Los Angeles Times investigation, Purdue began compiling the list of doctors in 2002 to keep track of physicians that should be avoided by their sales representatives. The list includes more than 1,800 “risky” doctors which the company suspects illegally prescribing OxyContin. Some of these doctors included Masoud Bamdad, who made $1.5 million a year prescribing painkillers such as OxyContin to addicts, and Eleanor Santiago, who helped to put about 1 million doses of OxyContin on the black market in Los Angeles.
Although Purdue has provided officials with information about some of the doctors on this list, the company has refused to turn the entire document over to authorities, claiming that it is not the company’s job to monitor how physicians prescribed OxyContin or other opioids. Medical experts have criticized the company’s behavior, alleging that it has an ethical responsibility to report doctors who may be illegally prescribing or overprescribing powerful painkillers such as OxyContin.
Purdue’s decision not to make this list of doctors available to regulators comes at a time when deaths from opioid painkillers and other prescription drugs have reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. In 2009, more than 39,000 people died from a prescription drug overdose, making it the leading cause of preventable deaths for that year, surpassing car accidents for the first time.
Heygood, Orr & Pearson and Opioid Overprescription
The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson are committed to helping patients and their families who have been affected by doctors who irresponsibly prescribe opioid painkillers to their patients. When doctors fail to follow established protocols for prescribing these drugs, drug abuse, addiction, tolerance, or overdose may be the result.
Our law firm has handled more cases involving the fentanyl pain patch than all other law firms in the country combined. Our experience with cases involving fentanyl or other opioid painkillers will give you the security that your legal rights are being protected to the fullest extent of the law.
If you or a loved one was the victim of a hospital or physician who prescribed opioid medications in excessive or irresponsible doses, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. Hundreds of lawsuits for medical malpractice or wrongful death have already been filed by patients and families whose lives have been permanently altered by the improper administration of painkillers such as fentanyl, oxycodone, methadone, hydrocodone, and others.
For a free legal consultation about your case, contact the attorneys at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling out toll-free hotline at 1-877-446-9001. You can also reach us at any time by completing the free case evaluation form that is located at the top of this page.