Purdue Pharma, maker of the notorious narcotic painkiller OxyContin, has offered $1 million to the state of Florida to help launch the much-anticipated Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. But Florida Governor Rick Scott’s response? No thanks.
Scott announced a few weeks ago that he intended to cancel the planned program, because it would cost too much. This decision left state lawmakers, health officials and law enforcement agencies scratching their heads and dreading a future without the program they’d been counting on.
First Scott said the $1 million set-up costs were too high. Then the broadcast and print news media published the outcries from supporters all over the state that the feds had already granted $800,000, and over a $1 million had been raised from private sources. The setup costs were more than covered. There was money left over.
Scott then said he didn’t want the state stuck with the annual operating costs of around $500,000. But the $1 million offer from Purdue covers the first two years of operations, and now Scott has refused that.
Those who have been working on the program for two or more years are simply stunned. They can’t believe that the governor doesn’t get it — the “it” being the real cost of prescription drug addiction in this state. There has to be some hidden agenda. Because the figures just don’t add up.
The prescription drug epidemic is costing Florida hundreds of $millions, if not $billions, in legal, law enforcement, health care, lost productivity and other costs every year. Then there’s the human costs, more than 5,000 deaths a year. And that number is rising.
The monitoring program could save many of those lives, maybe most of them. It would put $millions back into peoples’ pockets across the state, save the state $millions more. The cost of mounting and running the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program will cost the state nothing to start and run for two years, and it would be paying for itself almost out of the chute. Even if it didn’t, the cost is a tiny fraction of the cost of the prescription drug epidemic to the state.
This week, after turning down Purdue’s $1 million, Scott revealed his main objection is storing people’s prescriptions in the program database. This is “a needless intrusion” into citizens’ personal privacy, he says. Someone had to have told the governor that the only people who have access to the database are your doctor, your pharmacist, and when a crime is involved, a special branch of the police.
So…where’s the intrusion?
We have an idea: A few people up there in Tallahassee, and their big-money business cronies, don’t want to risk anyone finding out about their secret narcotic, psychiatric and embarrassing STD drug prescriptions. No other explanation makes sense.
The financial argument doesn’t cut it. But then, neither does the privacy argument.
The vast majority of Florida citizens have no objections at all to the privacy issue.
Just two years ago, the Florida House of Representatives approved the database by a vote of 103 to 10 — the people of Florida voted YES. They want an end to the constant litany of death, crime and degradation surrounding oxycodone and all the other dangerous prescription drugs pouring onto the streets.
Who gave the governor the right to override the wishes of the people of this state? That was not his decision to make.
Oxycodone detox? Or thousands of oxycodone deaths?
When Purdue Pharma offered the $1 million donation for the prescription monitoring program last week, Purdue’s vice president for government affairs, Alan Must, told the Miami Herald that Florida badly needs a prescription drug monitoring program to prevent pill trafficking across the country.
“We were so disappointed when we heard that it might go away,” Must said. “We want this to happen. It doesn’t do us any good to have that illegal business in Florida.”
The illegal business the Purdue exec referred to is the bogus prescription drug business that is centered around Florida’s 1,000-plus pill mills that hand out prescription drugs for cash to anyone who fakes some pain. These criminal operations frequently don’t even have a doctor on the premises.
Florida is now the nation’s leading source of illicitly obtained oxycodone and other destructive prescription drugs. Thousands of drug peddlers and couriers flock from all over the country, score tens of thousands of pills, and go right back to their home states to peddle the drugs on the street.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, nearly 90 percent of all oxycodone purchased from pharmaceutical companies during the first half of last year went to Florida. The rest of the United States had to get along on the remaining 10 percent.
Oh, wait — millions of oxycodone pills left Florida during the same period, in thousands of cars, trucks, buses, planes and trains, and found their way back to the rest of the United States after all.
In Florida, oxycodone is the leading killer of all drugs, both prescription and street drugs like heroin and cocaine. The state medical examiners reported recently that 7 people a day, or 2,555 people a year, are killed by oxycodone. Oxycodone dependency and oxycodone addiction have a vice-like grip on thousands of Florida’s citizens. According to some estimates, on any day of the week there are several hundred people seeking treatment for prescription drug dependencies and addictions, and oxycodone detox is one of the most commonly sought treatments.
Purdue’s involvement in the whole affair is somewhat ironic. OxyContin is a time-release formulation of oxycodone, which, according to pharmacologists, is essentially legal heroin. OxyContin has its own litany of addictions, injuries and deaths. Because it packs a large amount of oxycodone in each pill, and can be crushed to defeat the time-release feature, it can cause overdose, coma and death when consumed all at once.
The Florida Attorney General’s Office investigated Purdue nearly 10 years ago, citing aggressive marketing of the painkiller. The investigation followed dozens of OxyContin overdose deaths. Not too long after, numerous states and the feds launched their own investigations. All over the country, OxyContin was killing people. And all the while, Purdue was selling the drug’s safety.
The Justice Dept. and numerous states launched suits, and the ensuing trial was mind boggling. Purdue was found guilty of knowingly misleading doctors and regulators with fraudulent claims of safety. Purdue agreed to pay $600 million in fines, the largest settlement ever reached up until then, and three company executives pleaded guilty to various lesser charges.
Most public observers were stunned that they weren’t jailed. Family members of the thousands of victims would have preferred to see murder charges.
Before and since that landmark suit, across the country and in Florida, OxyContin detox, essentially oxycodone detox, has remained a widely sought treatment.
In Florida, oxycodone detox at Novus offers the best hope
In Florida, oxycodone detox programs are often one-size-fits-all — they don’t tailor the program to match each patient’s unique treatment and health needs, and they certainly do not address and minimize withdrawal symptoms.
At Novus Medical Detox Center in Pasco County, FL, effective oxycodone detox provides:
- 24/7 medical supervision by a caring and experienced staff
- An oxycodone detox program tailored to match your specific health needs
- Medicines that help reduce cravings and minimize oxycodone withdrawal symptoms.
- Special IVs provide health-protecting and health-building vitamins and minerals
- Great tasting and nutritional food.
Come to Novus Medical Detox Center where our standard oxycodone detox protocols are superior to most other centers in the world. Novus Medical Detox Center offers the best hope for a successful oxycodone detox.
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