More than 1 Million OxyContin Pills Ended up in the Hands of Criminals and Addicts. What the Drugmaker Knew
"In the waning days of summer in 2008, a convicted felon and his business
partner leased office space on a seedy block near MacArthur Park. They
set up a waiting room, hired an elderly physician and gave the place a
name that sounded like an ordinary clinic: Lake Medical.
The doctor began prescribing the opioid painkiller OxyContin – in extraordinary quantities.... By December, she had prescribed more than 73,000, with a street value of nearly $6 million.
At its headquarters in Stamford, Conn., Purdue Pharma, the maker of
OxyContin, tracked the surge in prescriptions. A sales manager went to
check out the clinic and the company launched an investigation. It
eventually concluded that Lake Medical was working with a corrupt
pharmacy in Huntington Park to obtain large quantities of OxyContin....
Purdue did not shut off the supply of highly addictive OxyContin and did
not tell authorities what it knew about Lake Medical until several
years later when the clinic was out of business and its leaders
By that time, 1.1 million pills had spilled into the hands of Armenian mobsters, the Crips gang and other criminals."