BOLDER, CO- Macon.com reports that Colorado’s Attorney General has filed a complaint against Purdue Pharma, the company that manufactures the popular opioid drug OxyContin. A representative for Purdue Pharma’s notes were used in the case. In 2010, the sales rep noted that when he was in a pain clinic in Wheat Ridge, Colorado he noticed that most of the patients seeking treatment at the facility were “young and particularly healthy looking.”
The clinic, which was run by Dr. Kevin Clemmer, was frequented by sales reps for Purdue Pharma who were pushing the company’s painkiller OxyContin. While Clemmer had initially been reluctant to prescribe the drug, he later said he was influenced by the sales reps and eventually stated that he liked prescribing the drug because the coupons he received from the company made OxyContin inexpensive.
By April of 2010, there were some indications that prescriptions for opioids that were coming from Dr. Clemmer’s clinic were forgeries. While reps showed up to question Clemmer, Clemmer stated he was following the rules for prescriptions. Clemmer had a record of disciplinary proceedings for his narcotic prescription practices.
Months after being looked into, Clemmer had a patient die of an overdose. Within a year and a half, the doctor had his license revoked. Clemmer eventually pled guilty to illegally distributing prescription opioids. Three opioid-related deaths were eventually linked to Clemmer’s clinic.
Despite many warning signs, Purdue never reported Clemmer. The practices of Purdue led to the development of the opioid epidemic. The lawsuit alleges that Purdue representatives pushed their products on doctors and manipulated the medical community into prescribing the drugs more often and at increasingly higher doses.
Colorado is the 28th state to file a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma in relation to the opioid epidemic.
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