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Saturday, July 21, 2007

They are good men OR a large corporate drug cartel: OxyContin fine

"Money can’t buy all the lives that were lost," commented Robert Palmisano, who was addicted to OxyContin for four years, but has been off the drug for 17 months. Lee Nuss of Palm Coast, Florida, a victim’s parent, told the convicted executives they were "legal drug users, nothing more than a large corporate drug cartel."

The executives’ lawyer said "they were good men, not here because of any acts of misconduct."

A U.S. District Court judge seemed to agree more with Lee Nuss. Judge James Jones ordered Purdue Pharma executives to pay $635 million in fines for misleading the public about the painkiller OxyContin’s addictiveness.

From 1996 to 2001, the number of deaths related to oxycodone increased five-fold. In 2002, the Drug Enforcement Administration said the drug caused 146 death and contributed to 318 more.

Read one of our OxyContin stories, or read more from Sue Lindsey’s story today in the Boston Globe.

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