It is finished... Purdue Pharma Executives were sentenced by Federal Judge James P. Jones, yesterday in Virginia. Judge Jones sentenced the three top executives of Purdue Pharma to three years’ probation and 400 hours each of community service in drug treatment programs. The New York Times reported that Judge Jones was "troubled by his inability to send the executives to prison. The federal prosecutors had not produced evidence as part of recent plea deals to show that the officials were aware of wrongdoing at the drug’s maker".
One thing that this sentencing does not do, is bring back the loved ones of the families that have been hurt by OxyContin. One valiant crusader in the fight against OxyContin abuse is Ed Bisch. He is a father that lost an 18 year old son, due to a drug overdose of this drug in 2001. In a quest to shed light on the devastating affects of "Oxy" as the teens called it, the day after his died from it, he started the website www.Oxyabusekills.com. He dedicated the www.Oxyabusekills.com site in memory of his son 18 yearold son Eddie Bisch. His goal is to bring awareness on how easy it is to overdose on Oxycontin (Oxy) and the dangers of prescription drug abuse. He deserves a round of applause for his efforts to bring the awareness to this nationwide public-health crisis. He took on the giant Pharma company to wage a public campaign with the simple, yet powerful message "this stuff is killing our kids, we have to do something". This brave dad, Ed Bisch, took a tragedy (the loss of his 18 year old son ) and has made it his mission to help save the lives and to educate the public before it is too late.
At the Purdue Sentencing on Friday, there were several loved ones and family members who lost loved ones due to OxyContin. I am sure that you could feel the emotions in the courtroom. According to the Rhode Island news, Victor DelRegno, a dad who last his son Andrew, age 20, to OxyContin drug overdose in 2002, was one of the witnesses that made a statement the sentencing. Prior to the sentencing Victot DeRegno is quoted as asking “What should the true cost for justice be?” This is a question that will remain in the minds of several people, for years to come.
Where do we go from here on the war against OxyContin abuse and other prescription drugs? What will it take for pharma companies, such as Purdue Pharma, to be honest about the dangers of their drugs? Creation of public awareness campaigns, with real people like Ed Bisch, Victor DeRegno and others sharing their stories to the community at large. It would be great if all of the Pharma companies would fund a non-profit group that educated the public on the dangers of prescription drug abuse. One that encourages participation from family members that have lost loved ones. This would be a good start for the pharma companies to show they are serious about being a good corporate citizen. Not to say, their charitable donations already being give to communities are not enough. But rather, showing commitment to the fight against prescription drug abuse and all the damage that it does by taking lives, loss to families and communities.
The Whistleblower Law Blog is presented as a service of the Private Law Firm, LaBovick & LaBovick, P.A., Civil Justice Prosecutors. LaBovick & LaBovick is a Plaintiff's firm that represents whistleblowers in Florida and throughout the United States in qui tam (False Claims Act) litigation