A while ago, Massachusetts’ then attorney general decided that he’d had enough of the abuse of one particular prescription drug, so he decided to skip right over the users, the dealers, the thieves, the doctors who misprescribe, and went right after the manufacturer. I mocked and assailed Tom Reilly over the matter, lambasting him as a publicity-seeking buffoon looking to boost his ultimately futile quest for the governorship.
Well, this is painful to admit, but I owe Mr. Reilly an apology. It now seems he was on to something.
I am still convinced that Reilly is an ass, a lifetime hack and a twit who was wrong on most every issue — but he was right to go after Purdue Pharma over oxycontin, and I was wrong to slam him over that.
I am furious. I — like so many people — took Purdue Pharma at their word that they had fully complied with federal requirements for testing and disclosure of oxycontin, and actually believed the claims they were making — because I knew the laws involved were severe, and didn’t think they’d be so stupid as to flout them.
They did, and now they’ve been socked with a fine over half a billion dollars.
It ain’t enough. They deliberately underplayed the addictive properties of oxycontin, and pushed it as a safe but powerful painkiller, a “miracle drug.”
Now, it did help a lot of people, and there are a lot of folks who are alive and healthy today because they used it, and used it responsibly. But there are also a lot of other people out there who went through hell because they trusted Purdue Pharma — and I’d like to see them filing their own lawsuits.
One former oxy addict in particular comes to mind immediately.