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Opioid Sales Reps Swarmed New York at Height of Crisis - "Just Like Dorito's," Said Mallinckrodt Pharma Exec. “Keep eating,” he added, “we’ll make more.”

Opioid Sales Reps Swarmed New York at Height of Crisis - "Just Like Dorito's," Said Mallinckrodt Pharma Exec. “Keep eating,” he added, “we’ll make more.” | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

Disclosures in the latest filings in the New York case:

■ Purdue employees knew as early as 1999 that people were abusing OxyContin and knew the ways they were doing so. In an internal email to a senior executive, an employee disputed the claim that some abusers of the drug “shoot,” or inject, it, saying that they crushed the tablets and snorted the powder. “Injection is not too popular because the waxy junk in the tablets can mess up the user’s veins,” the employee wrote. “At least, that’s what I’ve read,” the email said. “I understand that OxyContin is the preferred drug,” the email said.

■ Purdue Pharma spent $68 million from 2006 to 2016 on opioid education, much of it directed to front groups, and $1.5 million in New York in roughly the same period to push its message “through seemingly legitimate sources,” according to the complaint.

■ Mallinckrodt paid $300,000 to a Kansas doctor, Sri Nalamachu, who was featured in a brochure in which “he criticized efforts to restrict access to pain prescription medication due to concerns” about opioid abuse, the complaint said. The payment was never disclosed, in the brochure or elsewhere.

■ An executive at a regional drug distribution company asked a Mallinckrodt executive to keep supplying the opioid oxycodone. It’s “like people are addicted to these things. Oh, wait, people are,” the first executive wrote. The Mallinckrodt executive responded that it was “just like Doritos.”

“Keep eating,” he added, “we’ll make more.”

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Related stories:

 

  • “Newtown Township Supervisors Vote to File Civil Lawsuit Against Drug Manufacturers Over Opioid Crisis”; http://sco.lt/7Wibjd 
  • “OxyContin Opioid Maker Purdue Pharma Reportedly Exploring Chapter 11 Bankruptcy”; http://sco.lt/8OuLIG 
  • “Purdue #Pharma Doesn't Want Court to Unseal Oxycontin Marketing Documents. What's It Hiding?”; http://sco.lt/6wb24f 
  • “OxyContin's 12-hour Problem: Misrepresentation of Efficacy Leads to Addiction & Purdue Knew It”: http://sco.lt/8RfD5F 
  • “The History of Purdue's Marketing of Oxycontin & Its Connection to the Opiate Epidemic”: http://sco.lt/6RajLd 
  • “Doctor with Ties to Purdue #Pharma Helped Develop Canadian Opioid-Prescribing Guidelines”: http://sco.lt/7f1iin 
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Public Health & Safety
These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources. They focus on public health issues such as opioid addiction, water and air quality, emergency services, traffic, crime, etc. Please click on the "From" link to access the full original article. Any opinions and "insights" appended to these article summaries are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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PADEP Hands a Fresh Setback to Elcon's Toxic-Waste Incinerator Proposal

PADEP Hands a Fresh Setback to Elcon's Toxic-Waste Incinerator Proposal | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection came out against an application for a proposed toxic waste treatment facility in Bucks County on May 15, saying it had “a number of outstanding deficiencies.”

 

PADEP’s Notice of Intent to Deny comes after completing a 10-month technical review of materials submitted by the applicant, Israel-based Elcon Recycling Services. Elcon wants to build a facility in Falls Township that would store and treat nearly 200,000 tons per year of hazardous and residual waste. This includes mercury, lead, cadmium, benzine, vinyl chloride and 260 other chemicals.

 

“After a rigorous review of the application, supplemental materials submitted by the company, and input from the public, DEP will not approve this application in its current form,” PADEP secretary Patrick McDonnell said in a statement. “Unless the company can address these outstanding deficiencies, DEP will have no choice but to move forward with a full application denial.”

 

PADEP, in its statement, was careful to point out that a Notice of Intent to Deny is not a final action by PADEP. It is a draft decision. Elcon may comment on the notice and submit materials to address the deficiencies cited by PADEP.

 

But members of the public now also have an opportunity to go on the record. With its decision now public, PADEP will open the Elcon application to public comment.

 

The public comment period begins June 1 and runs until July 15. PADEP must acknowledge all comments received during the 45-day comment period, with the agency reviewing and addressing each comment in a public document. All comments should be emailed to ra-ephwelcon@pa.gov .

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Related stories:

 

  • “Victory! Falls Supervisors Reject Elcon Plan”; http://sco.lt/8JeZ4y
  • “Despite Falls Vote Against It, the Elcon Proposal Isn’t Dead Yet. Activists Plan to Double Their Efforts to Kill It”; http://sco.lt/89CAoy
  • “John Mack Lists the Air Pollutants the ELCON Hazardous Waste Treatment Plant Would Be Allowed to Emit”; http://sco.lt/5y8LUu 
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PA Sues Purdue Pharma: If They Won’t Negotiate, Then We Must Litigate!

PA Sues Purdue Pharma: If They Won’t Negotiate, Then We Must Litigate! | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

Pennsylvania sued the opioid maker Purdue Pharma on Tuesday, marking the latest effort by a state attorney general to hold accountable the company that popularized OxyContin and that many have blamed for fueling the opioid epidemic.

 

[Pennsylvania is among the states hardest hit by the opioid epidemic. Roughly 5,390 Pennsylvanians died from drug overdoses in 2017 — more than any other state — and a majority of the deaths were caused by opioids, according to the 121-page lawsuit.]

 

“Simply stated, Purdue took advantage of addiction to make money,” the suit alleges. The Stamford, Conn.-based company has sold more than 2.9 million prescriptions – or, more than 200 million doses – of opioids in Pennsylvania since May 8, 2007, according to the suit.

 

The lawsuit alleges a massive marketing effort by Purdue, with what the suit calls more than 500,000 misleading and deceptive messages about the addictive nature of opioids directed at Pennsylvania doctors. With the exception of California, the suit says, Purdue “made more sales visits in Pennsylvania than any other state.”

 

[For details about the deceptive, questionable marketing practices of opioid manufacturers, read the summary of Newtown Township’s lawsuit against 15 opioid manufacturers and 3 distributors.] 

 

Shapiro said Pennsylvania’s suit in Commonwealth Court is unique in uncovering how the company used its sales force to target prescribers – visiting doctors, or “detailing” them, 131 times a day on average, and showering them with gifts, meals, trips, and “cold-hard cash.” As for the company’s Oklahoma settlement, Shapiro said such a deal wouldn’t suffice for Pennsylvania, because that agreement set aside only $15 million for cities and counties and no money for the state itself.

 

And Shapiro singled out Purdue, compared with eight other pharma companies that his office is investigating, for its unwillingness to engage in “serious” talks.

 

If They Won’t Negotiate, Then We Must Litigate!

Purdue Pharma “has not been willing to negotiate in good faith, and come to the table with a meaningful settlement offer. And that is unacceptable,” said Shapiro. He is one of the leaders of a 41-state coalition that began investigating opioid makers and distributors in 2017. Talks with the other companies remain ongoing, Shapiro said.

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April 2019 Police Report: Eagle Road Speeding Citations, Swastika Graffiti, More...

April 2019 Police Report: Eagle Road Speeding Citations, Swastika Graffiti, More... | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

Police Chief John Hearn presented the Calls Report for April 2019 at the May 8, 2019, Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting. In April, the Newtown Police Department responded to 1,686 total calls, 300 (18%) of which were in Wrightstown Township (Newtown Police provides services to both Newtown Township and Wrightstown).

 

See the details here.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

While there were incidents of swastika graffiti in and around Newtown, Chief Hearn reported that there have been no reported hate crimes in Newtown Township in the last three years.

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PennDOT to Lower Speed Limit on Section of Swamp Road

PennDOT to Lower Speed Limit on Section of Swamp Road | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

In a May 2, 2019, letter, Ashwin Patel, Senior Manager of PennDOT's Traffic Engineering and Safety Division, notified Newtown Township that PennDOT will be lowering the speed limit on Swamp Road between the Twining Bridge intersection and the intersection of Pennswood Dr. (entrance to Knob Hill) to 40 MPH from 45 MPH (see map).

 

But no all-way stop sign. Find out why here.

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Glyphosate, the Main Ingredient in Roundup, Is Declared "SAFE" by EPA

Glyphosate, the Main Ingredient in Roundup, Is Declared "SAFE" by EPA | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

[EPA Press Release (04/30/2019): Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking an important step in the agency’s review of glyphosate. As part of this action, EPA continues to find that there are no risks to public health when glyphosate is used in accordance with its current label and that glyphosate is not a carcinogen. The agency’s scientific findings on human health risk are consistent with the conclusions of science reviews by many other countries and other federal agencies. While the agency did not identify public health risks in the 2017 human health risk assessment, the 2017 ecological assessment did identify ecological risks. To address these risks, EPA is proposing management measures to help farmers target pesticide sprays on the intended pest, protect pollinators, and reduce the problem of weeds becoming resistant to glyphosate.

 

“EPA has found no risks to public health from the current registered uses of glyphosate,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Today’s proposed action includes new management measures that will help farmers use glyphosate in the most effective and efficient way possible, including pollinator protections. We look forward to input from farmers and other stakeholders to ensure that the draft management measures are workable, realistic, and effective.”]

 

The announcement comes after two high-profile court cases in which cancer patients claimed Roundup, a popular weedkiller containing glyphosate, caused their non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

 

In both cases, jurors sided with the patients and said Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, should pay them tens of millions of dollars in damages.

 

Fallout from those verdicts -- plus thousands of similar lawsuits against Monsanto -- have dealt a huge financial blow to Monsanto's parent company, Bayer.

 

But the EPA's announcement saying glyphosate is still safe was a boon for Bayer, which has insisted the same all along.

 

"Bayer firmly believes that the science supports the safety of glyphosate-based herbicides, which are some of the most thoroughly studied products of their kind, and is pleased that the regulators tasked with assessing this extensive body of science continue to reach favorable conclusions," the company said.

 

Read: “Newtown Township's Pollution Reduction Plan. How Will It Impact Our Parks?

johnmacknewtown's insight:

At a recent Newtown Board of Supervisors meeting, when asked by Supervisor Mack if the plan to reduce pollution of watersheds by converting mowed grass areas to meadows would involve dangerous herbicides such as Roundup, the Township Manager assured us that only EPA-approved (ie. "safe") products would be used. Little did we know that Roundup is now one of these EPA approved products!

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Newtown Fire Association is Well-Trained & Qualified

Newtown Fire Association is Well-Trained & Qualified | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

The PA Office of the State Fire Commissioner recently recognized the Newtown Fire Association (NFA) for successfully attaining the 75% recognition level as part of the Participating Department Recognition Program.

The Participating Department Recognition Program recognizes those departments that support promote and encourage their emergency response personnel to voluntarily certify at various levels in accordance with nationally recognized and sanctioned Professional Qualification Standards.

"Your organization has accomplished an important goal and should be proud of this achievement," said Bruce Trego, State Fire Commissioner, in an April 18, 2019, letter to NFA Chief Matthew Gerhard. "With this recognition, you have demonstrated that your organization is competent and capable in providing quality services to the residents and visitors of the Commonwealth," said Trego.

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AP Poll: Many Americans Blame Drug Firms for Opioid Crisis, But Also Drug Users

AP Poll: Many Americans Blame Drug Firms for Opioid Crisis, But Also Drug Users | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

About two-thirds of Americans believe drug companies are to blame for the opioid crisis, although nearly as many hold drug users themselves responsible, a new poll finds.

 

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll showed many people also fault doctors who prescribed opioid pain pills and government officials who haven’t done enough to expand addiction treatment and arrest drug dealers.

 

“All of the above,” said Anna Marie Davis, a casino security supervisor from Norwood, Pennsylvania. She said she has had to deal with overdoses at work and that her 27-year-old nephew, who used heroin and fentanyl, died of a drug overdose last year.

 

“It’s pretty bad,” she said of the drug overdose problem. “I honestly don’t think they’re doing enough” to stop it, she added.

 

[Newtown Township is doing something! Read “Newtown Township Supervisors Vote to File Civil Lawsuit Against Drug Manufacturers Over Opioid Crisis”]

 

Experts say the overdose epidemic is rooted in a boom in opioid painkiller prescriptions that began more than 20 years ago, which they say fostered addictions that later shifted into use of heroin and other drugs.

 

The AP-NORC poll was conducted this month amid a legal storm: About 2,000 lawsuits have been filed in the past few years seeking to hold the drug industry responsible for the nation’s drug overdose crisis.

 

Some of the people participating in the poll said they were following the news and felt manufacturers should be held accountable.

 

But many also expressed strong feelings that people taking drugs are to blame. Among them was Pamela Williams of New York City, who said she was addicted to cocaine and other drugs until she stopped about 25 years ago.

 

“Nobody’s forcing them to take drugs. Nobody puts it in their hand and puts a gun to the head and says; ’Here, take this,” said Williams, who lives in the Bronx.

 

Dr. Daniel Ciccarone, a drug policy expert at the University of California at San Francisco, noted that the survey doesn’t explain why people are turning to drugs and alcohol. He said people seem to be “self-medicating” as they struggle with depression, lack of money or other issues.

 

According to the poll, 63% of Americans think pharmaceutical companies are quite a bit or a great deal to blame for the problem of opioid addiction, while 58% say the same about people abusing opioids. Slightly less than half — 46% — think doctors and dentists are significantly to blame, and about a third — 34% — say that about the government.

 

The poll shows 35% say they or someone close to them has been addicted to prescription painkillers or heroin.

 

White Americans were more likely than black Americans to say they’ve known someone who was addicted, 39% to 20%. Americans under 30 were more likely than older people to say they’ve known someone who was addicted, 44% to 32%.

 

People who have personally been close to someone addicted to opioids were more likely than others to blame pharmaceutical companies, 70% to 59%. They were also somewhat more likely to blame doctors and dentists (52% to 43 and the government (41% to 31%), but not significantly more or less likely to blame opioid users themselves.

 

The poll also detected a partisan divide.

 

Democrats are more likely than Republicans to blame pharmaceutical companies (72% to 53 and the government (42% to 26%). Republicans were more likely than Democrats to blame users (69% to 51%).

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Related Stories:

  • The Giants at the Heart of the Opioid Crisis: ‘How Do the C.E.O.s of These Companies Sleep at Night?’”; http://sco.lt/56Tub2
  • “OxyContin Opioid Maker Purdue Pharma Reportedly Exploring Chapter 11 Bankruptcy”; http://sco.lt/8OuLIG
  • “Purdue #Pharma Doesn't Want Court to Unseal Oxycontin Marketing Documents. What's It Hiding?”; http://sco.lt/6wb24f
  • “OxyContin's 12-hour Problem: Misrepresentation of Efficacy Leads to Addiction & Purdue Knew It”: http://sco.lt/8RfD5F
  • “The History of Purdue's Marketing of Oxycontin & Its Connection to the Opiate Epidemic”: http://sco.lt/6RajLd
  • “Doctor with Ties to Purdue #Pharma Helped Develop Canadian Opioid-Prescribing Guidelines”: http://sco.lt/7f1iin
  • “FDA to Determine if Oxymorphone, Produced by KVK Tech in Newtown, is More Likely to Be Abused Than Other Opioids”; http://sco.lt/5OUnaa
  • “Opioid Sales Reps Swarmed New York at Height of Crisis – ‘Just Like Dorito's,’ Said Mallinckrodt Pharma Exec. ‘Keep eating,’ he added, ‘we’ll make more.’”; http://sco.lt/95yL0C
  • “Teva & Cephalon Try to Prevent Release of Internal Marketing Plan for Fentora - an Opioid Drug”; http://sco.lt/5U5R3Z
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Bucks County Gets An 'F' For Air Quality

Bucks County Gets An 'F' For Air Quality | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

More than 40 percent of Americans live in areas with unhealthy air, according to a new report published Wednesday by the American Lung Association, and Bucks County residents are among them.

Bucks County received an "F" grade for high-ozone days and an incomplete grade for particle pollution in the report.

Harold Wimmer, the group's president and CEO, said that after years of progress, there's clear evidence of a "disturbing trend," with many Americans seeing their air quality worsening due to wildfires and weather patterns. Climate change is fueling that trend, he said.

"This increase in unhealthy air is eye-opening, and points to the reality that the nation must do more to protect the public from serious, even life-threatening harm," Wimmer said in a news release. "There is no clearer sign that we are facing new challenges than air pollution levels that have broken records tracked for the past twenty years, and the fact that we had more days than ever before when monitored air quality reached hazardous levels for anyone to breathe."

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Related:

  • “John Mack Lists the Air Pollutants the ELCON Hazardous Waste Treatment Plant Would Be Allowed to Emit”; http://sco.lt/5y8LUu
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Feds Arrest of Opioid Drug Distributor CEO Features a “Perp Walk.” Now How About Going After the Really BIG Fish?

Feds Arrest of Opioid Drug Distributor CEO Features a “Perp Walk.” Now How About Going After the Really BIG Fish? | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

Federal prosecutors charged drug distributor Rochester Drug Cooperative and its former CEO with drug trafficking charges Tuesday -- the first criminal charges for a pharmaceutical company and executives in the nation's ongoing opioid crisis.

 

The charges signify a groundbreaking move by the government to try to combat the opioid epidemic, which kills 130 Americans every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For the first time, a pharmaceutical company and white collar executives were charged like street dealers and traffickers.

 

“This prosecution is the first of its kind: executives of a pharmaceutical distributor and the distributor itself have been charged with drug trafficking, trafficking the same drugs that are fueling the opioid epidemic that is ravaging this country. Our Office will do everything in its power to combat this epidemic, from street-level dealers to the executives who illegally distribute drugs from their boardrooms,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a statement.

 

RDC agreed to a non-prosecution consent decree and agreed to pay a $20 million penalty. It will be monitored by the government for the next five years.

 

According to court records, from 2012 through 2016, RDC filled more than 1.5 million orders for controlled substances from its pharmacy customers, but reported just four suspicious orders to the DEA. In reality, there were at least 2,000 suspicious orders in those four years, federal prosecutors said.

 

"From 2012 to 2016, RDC’s sales of oxycodone tablets grew from 4.7 million to 42.2 million – an increase of approximately 800 percent – and during the same period RDC’s fentanyl sales grew from approximately 63,000 dosages in 2012 to over 1.3 million in 2016 – an increase of approximately 2,000 percent. During that same time period, Doud’s compensation increased by over 125 percent, growing to over $1.5 million in 2016," the U.S. Attorney's office said.

 

Opioid manufacturers are facing over 1,700 lawsuits over their role in the current crisis. Paul Hanly, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the federal litigation, which he said includes 2,000 cases, welcomed the move by U.S. prosecutors.

 

"The charges make the civil case against RDC easier to try and provide a potential road map to evidence that may prove the civil claims against other distributors," Hanly told ABC News on Tuesday

johnmacknewtown's insight:

According to the Civil Lawsuit by Newtown Township against Opioid manufacturers and distributors, “Rather than abide by their non-delegable duties under public safety laws, the Distributor Defendants, individually and collectively through trade groups in the industry, pressured the U.S. Department of Justice to "halt" prosecutions and lobbied Congress to strip the DEA of its ability to immediately suspend distributor registrations. The result was a "sharp drop in enforcement actions" and the passage of the "Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act" which, ironically, raised the burden for the DEA to revoke a distributor's license from "imminent harm" to "immediate harm" and provided the industry the right to "cure" any violations of law before a suspension order can be issued.”

 

Speaking of “Big Fish,” read “The Giants at the Heart of the Opioid Crisis: ‘How Do the C.E.O.s of These Companies Sleep at Night?’”; http://sco.lt/56Tub2

 

Related stories:

  • “Newtown Township Supervisors Vote to File Civil Lawsuit Against Drug Manufacturers Over Opioid Crisis”; http://sco.lt/7Wibjd
  • “OxyContin Opioid Maker Purdue Pharma Reportedly Exploring Chapter 11 Bankruptcy”; http://sco.lt/8OuLIG
  • “Purdue #Pharma Doesn't Want Court to Unseal Oxycontin Marketing Documents. What's It Hiding?”; http://sco.lt/6wb24f
  • “OxyContin's 12-hour Problem: Misrepresentation of Efficacy Leads to Addiction & Purdue Knew It”: http://sco.lt/8RfD5F
  • “The History of Purdue's Marketing of Oxycontin & Its Connection to the Opiate Epidemic”: http://sco.lt/6RajLd
  • “Doctor with Ties to Purdue #Pharma Helped Develop Canadian Opioid-Prescribing Guidelines”: http://sco.lt/7f1iin
  • “FDA to Determine if Oxymorphone, Produced by KVK Tech in Newtown, is More Likely to Be Abused Than Other Opioids”; http://sco.lt/5OUnaa
  • “Opioid Sales Reps Swarmed New York at Height of Crisis – ‘Just Like Dorito's,’ Said Mallinckrodt Pharma Exec. ‘Keep eating,’ he added, ‘we’ll make more.’”; http://sco.lt/95yL0C
  • “Teva & Cephalon Try to Prevent Release of Internal Marketing Plan for Fentora - an Opioid Drug”; http://sco.lt/5U5R3Z
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Opponents Keep Pressure on Falls Supervisors to Reject Elcon's Proposal to Build Incinerator

Opponents Keep Pressure on Falls Supervisors to Reject Elcon's Proposal to Build Incinerator | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

Residents opposed to a hazardous waste treatment facility in Falls continued pressuring township officials to reject Elcon’s proposal ahead of a planned special supervisors meeting later this month to consider the application.

 

About 10 people spoke out Tuesday against Elcon Recycling Services’ proposed plant that could process between 150,000 to 200,000 tons of chemicals and pharmaceutical waste a year.

 

The plans were not an item under consideration for the board this week, but residents and others have been using the public comment at recent meetings to keep Elcon on that forefront of officials’ minds.

 

Representatives of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network and Protect Our Water and Air have urged residents to continue commenting at public meetings leading up to a potential vote on Elcon’s plans at the end of the month.

 

Supervisors will hold a special meeting and possible vote on Elcon’s plans on April 30 in Pennsbury High School West’s Keller Hall, 608 S. Olds Blvd. beginning at 7 p.m.

 

The township’s planning commission voted not to recommend the plans be approved by supervisors during March meeting.

 

The comments at Tuesday’s meeting were similar to past objections to the plant, and the township has posted the meeting video on it’s YouTube channel.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Related:

  • “John Mack Lists the Air Pollutants the ELCON Hazardous Waste Treatment Plant Would Be Allowed to Emit”; http://sco.lt/8qcY8e
  • “A Crowded Meeting Pits Citizens Against the PA DEP Regarding the Elcon Proposal”; http://sco.lt/56CrQ0
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As Lawsuits Mount, Philly-area Endo Pharmaceuticals Reports 20,000 Opioid-related Deaths to FDA

As Lawsuits Mount, Philly-area Endo Pharmaceuticals Reports 20,000 Opioid-related Deaths to FDA | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

[In 2017] — and engulfed in nationwide lawsuits and investigations about the marketing of opioids — Endo Pharmaceuticals suddenly began to tell the FDA about a tidal wave of fatalities associated with [the opioid] Opana [aka oxymorphone – which is the #1 selling product of KVK Tech located in Newtown Township], and painkillers made by other companies. From November 2017 through August 2018, Endo reported 20,115 deaths to the FDA, a review of the agency’s public database of adverse events shows.

 

Before 2017, the company reported approximately 250 deaths, over a 10-year stretch, in which Opana was a suspect drug.

 

The thousands of deaths span roughly two decades, and entries for individual fatalities, in some cases, list more than a dozen different opioids. Endo began submitting the reports two months after it voluntarily pulled Opana ER, a top-selling painkiller, from the market — following a 2017 request by the FDA to do so, because of abuse. Together, Opana and Opana ER, first launched in 2006, generated more than $2 billion in sales.

 

Endo — which also makes the opioid Percocet — has publicized other changes in light of the opioid crisis: It got rid of its U.S. sales force for pain products, and says on its website that it “discontinued the research and development of new opioid products.”

 

In 2014, the City of Chicago became one of the first local governments to sue opioid makers. The suit accused Endo and others of downplaying the risk of addiction, even as they had access to data — including adverse-event reports — that “demonstrated the widening epidemic of opioid abuse and addiction.”

 

The Chicago suit has since been consolidated with about 1,600 opioid cases in federal court in Cleveland, where the first trial is scheduled to start in October.

 

Endo allegedly gave millions of dollars in grants, and used speaker programs and front groups to spread the message that Opana had a low risk of addiction.

 

In 2016, the company reached a $200,000 settlement with the New York Attorney General’s Office, which found that Endo trained its sales reps to “distinguish addiction from ‘pseudoaddiction’” — a concept that “has never been empirically validated.”

 

More...

 

[Note: ENDO is a defendant in the suit filed by Newtown against opioid manufacturers.]

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Related stories:

  • “Newtown Township Supervisors Vote to File Civil Lawsuit Against Drug Manufacturers Over Opioid Crisis”; http://sco.lt/7Wibjd
  • “OxyContin Opioid Maker Purdue Pharma Reportedly Exploring Chapter 11 Bankruptcy”; http://sco.lt/8OuLIG
  • “Purdue #Pharma Doesn't Want Court to Unseal Oxycontin Marketing Documents. What's It Hiding?”; http://sco.lt/6wb24f
  • “OxyContin's 12-hour Problem: Misrepresentation of Efficacy Leads to Addiction & Purdue Knew It”: http://sco.lt/8RfD5F
  • “The History of Purdue's Marketing of Oxycontin & Its Connection to the Opiate Epidemic”: http://sco.lt/6RajLd
  • “Doctor with Ties to Purdue #Pharma Helped Develop Canadian Opioid-Prescribing Guidelines”: http://sco.lt/7f1iin
  • “FDA to Determine if Oxymorphone, Produced by KVK Tech in Newtown, is More Likely to Be Abused Than Other Opioids”; http://sco.lt/5OUnaa
  • “Opioid Sales Reps Swarmed New York at Height of Crisis – ‘Just Like Dorito's,’ Said Mallinckrodt Pharma Exec. ‘Keep eating,’ he added, ‘we’ll make more.’”; http://sco.lt/95yL0C
  • “Teva & Cephalon Try to Prevent Release of Internal Marketing Plan for Fentora - an Opioid Drug”; http://sco.lt/5U5R3Z
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Newtown Township Police Crack Down on Aggressive Driving!

Newtown Township Police Crack Down on Aggressive Driving! | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

The Newtown Police Department along with 63 other municipal police departments in surrounding counties are participating in a campaign to crack down on aggressive driving. The campaign officially started on March 18, 2019 and will continue through April 28, 2019.

 

As a result of that campaign, there were a total of 305 traffic citations issued by the Newtown Police Department in March, 63 (20%) were in Wrightstown. Over 50% of those citations were for speeding (31 on Swamp Road).

 

Click here to see a summary of the March 2019 Newtown Township Police Report to the Board of Supervisors.

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INCIDENT BLOTTER: MARCH 22 - 27, 2019 | Newtown Township Police Department

INCIDENT BLOTTER: MARCH 22 - 27, 2019 | Newtown Township Police Department | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

At 3:00 pm a Lower Silver Lake Road resident contacted police to report that she found what she believed to be a human bone on her property. Police responded and advised the complainant that she had actually found the rear metatarsal bone of a white tailed deer.

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Fetterman's Listening Tour in Newtown: Attendees Overwhelmingly Support Legalization of Recreational Marijuana

Fetterman's Listening Tour in Newtown: Attendees Overwhelmingly Support Legalization of Recreational Marijuana | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

Legalizing recreational marijuana appears to be favored by area residents if Wednesday night’s visit from Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in Newtown Township is any indication.

 

A crowd of about 150 people came to the Zlock Performing Arts Center at 275 Swamp Road as part of Fetterman’s statewide listening tour for legalized cannabis use.

 

Only about 40 people were able to speak during the meeting, but a show of hands at the end of the night had only about 15 people opposing legalizing the federally prohibited drug.

 

Fetterman was joined by state Sens. Steven Santarsiero, D-10, and Maria Collett, D-12, as well as Reps. Perry Warren, D-31; Wendy Ullman, D-143; and Tina Davis, D-141.

 

There was no shortage of opinions for or against the idea as local elected officials, registered nurses, police officers and people in recovery from addiction spoke out for and against recreational marijuana use.

 

“It’s a shame it’s taken this long in Pennsylvania to get to a place where we’re ready to have this conversation,” said Alex Overton, a registered medical marijuana patient.

 

Overton was the first person to comment, and several of the issues he raised in support of recreational marijuana would set the tone for many of the supporting comments that followed.

 

For Overton, marijuana isn’t a step toward harder, more addictive drugs, but a way to get away from them [read “Pot vs Pills: Dr. Sanjay Gupta Special Report"]. He said he is one of many Pennsylvania medical marijuana patients using cannabis to manage his methadone treatment.

 

[Do you believe Medical Marijuana (MMJ) can have a role in preventing the over prescribing and overuse of opioid painkillers and thus help fight opioid addiction? Take my "Medical Marijuana vs. Opioids Survey".]

 

Another man, who didn’t give his name, said he too was an addict in recovery and credited medical marijuana as a major aid in his now decade-long sobriety.

 

He identified himself as a paramedic who aided emergency workers in New York City during the 9/11 attacks, which led to post-traumatic stress disorder and other similar conditions afterwards.

 

At least two women who said they were registered nurses objected to comments made by legalization supporters suggesting marijuana had no negative health effects.

 

Bensalem police Chief Fred Harran warned legalizing marijuana use would almost certainly make the roads more dangerous with impaired drivers, while Warrington Supervisor Fred Gaines said he supported decriminalizing marijuana to free up police resources.

 

“It’s freaking 2019,” frustrated Newtown Township resident Stephen Cickay said.

 

“Prohibition failed for alcohol, and prohibition, right now, is failing for pot,” Cickay said.

 

Further Reading:

  • “Legalizing Recreation Use of Marijuana in PA Could Mean $581M Windfall in State Taxes, Says PA Auditor General”; http://sco.lt/8e0LeC
  • “State Rep. Perry Warren, D-31, of Newtown, Supports PA House Resolution 567 to Study Possible Decriminalization of Marijuana”; http://sco.lt/7Oy3Af
johnmacknewtown's insight:

Not only can legalized marijuana raise much needed tax revenue, it can also help combat the opioid epidemic, save lives, and save EMS expenses as well as freeing up law enforcement to focus on more serious crimes. Read “Is There a Role for Medical Cannabis in Combating the Opioid Epidemic?

 

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Hard-hit Pennsylvania to Sue Drug Maker Over Opioid Epidemic

Hard-hit Pennsylvania to Sue Drug Maker Over Opioid Epidemic | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

The attorney general of Pennsylvania says he’s filing a lawsuit accusing a pharmaceutical giant of fueling the opioid epidemic.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office said it would announce details of the lawsuit Tuesday afternoon. Pennsylvania is one of the states hardest hit by opioid addiction.

Shapiro’s office two years ago joined with dozens of other states to investigate companies that make and distribute opioid painkillers. Several Pennsylvania counties have already sued drugmakers, and a federal judge in Cleveland is overseeing more than 1,500 lawsuits filed by local governments, American Indian tribes and others against the opioid industry.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says opioids, including prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and illicit drugs such as fentanyl and heroin, were involved in a record 48,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2017.

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14 Sites Have PFAS Contamination In Eastern PA

14 Sites Have PFAS Contamination In Eastern PA | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

A new report shows that hundreds of sites nationwide — including 13 in eastern Pennsylvania alone — have been contaminated with the PFAS chemicals so familiar to many area residents, many of whom have had their drinking water systems impacted by the toxic substances.

 

Researchers at the Environmental Working Group, an activist nonprofit group, said Monday that at least 610 places in 43 states are now known to be contaminated with perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known collectively as PFAS. That's up from the 172 the organization had identified in July 2018. A total of 19 million people have had their water source affected.

 

The new study gives Pennsylvanians a comprehensive look at just how widespread the problem is, and offers a comparative glance at how severely area military bases, drinking water wells, and other sites have been compromised.

 

The results from EWG show that many eastern Pennsylvania sources have skirted this line, while others have shown far greater levels of contamination. Here’s a sampling of sites:

 

Aqua PA Hatboro

  • Population served: 12,901
  • Testing dates: 06/25/14 - 12/30/17
  • PFAS detected: PFHpA, PFOA, PFOS
  • PFAS min - max: 0 - 55.3 ppt

 

Upper Dublin Township

  • Date of discovery: 2016
  • Results: North Hills well (Jun 2018): -PFOS= 40 ppt -PFOA= 3.1 ppt Upper Dublin Township well (Jan 2019): -PFOS= 5.7 ppt -PFOA= 4.1 ppt
  • Suspected source: Firefighting foam used at Willow Grove Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base

 

Horsham Water and Sewer Authority

  • Population served: 25,000
  • Testing dates: 06/24/14 - 12/27/17
  • PFAS detected: PFBS, PFHpA, PFHxS, PFOA, PFOS
  • PFAS min - max: 0 - 44001118.4 ppt

 

See the full list here.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Add to the list:

 

Newtown Artesian Water Company

  • Population served: More than 20,000
  • Date of Discovery: March, 2019
  • PFOS min - max: 2.4 - 26 ppt
  • PFOA min - max: 3.5 - 23 ppt

 

Read "PFAS in Newtown Drinking Water" staring on page 5 of the April, 2019 edition of Newtown News Update.

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Billionaire Insys CEO Kapoor Approved Lap Dances, Rap Videos, Deception - i.e., Racketeering in First Opioid Epidemic Conviction of Its Kind!

Billionaire Insys CEO Kapoor Approved Lap Dances, Rap Videos, Deception - i.e., Racketeering in First Opioid Epidemic Conviction of Its Kind! | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

A billionaire pharmaceutical CEO faces up to 20 years in prison after being found guilty of a bribery and kickback scheme to get doctors to prescribe addictive painkillers to people who didn't need them.

 

It is the first conviction of a high-profile pharmaceutical executive related to the opioid crisis plaguing the nation.

 

The case revealed details of the efforts by John Kapoor and his company, Insys Therapeutics, to get doctors to over-prescribe opioids, including giving them lap dances, producing a rap video [view it here] glamorizing higher doses of the drugs, and rewarding salespeople for selling higher-dose medications [read “Founder of Insys Indicted for Bribing Docs to Illegally Prescribe Fentanyl”].

 

A federal judge found Kapoor and four former executives guilty Thursday of racketeering for its methods of getting physicians to prescribe Subsys, a highly potent fentanyl spray used to treat cancer patients, to cancer-free patients who did not need it.

 

“Today’s convictions mark the first successful prosecution of top pharmaceutical executives for crimes related to the illicit marketing and prescribing of opioids,” said U.S Attorney Andrew Lelling. “Just as we would street-level drug dealers, we will hold pharmaceutical executives responsible for fueling the opioid epidemic by recklessly and illegally distributing these drugs.”

 

Insys executives and sales representatives went to unorthodox measures to attract prospective prescribers. Two Insys sales representatives made a music video in 2015 to show at a national sales meeting illustrating a method used to increase dosages, called titration. As the two men dance around a person in a Subsys dispenser costume, they say “I love titrations, and it’s not a problem. I got new patients, and I got a lot of them.”

 

Insys sales representatives also lured doctors in by giving them lap dances. Holly Brown, a former Insys sales representative in Chicago, testified that her boss, a former exotic dancer, gave a doctor a lap dance to persuade him to prescribe more of the fentanyl spray.

 

Former sales representatives said their bonuses were directly tied to the dosages prescribed. With a higher prescribed dose, the sales representative would get a higher bonus payment. Representatives also had to justify to their supervisor why some doses were lower than they would have liked within 24 hours.

 

Doctors who prescribed Subsys practice in many states including Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Connecticut, and more. A physician in Alabama tied to the case was sentenced in 2017 for 20 years.

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Despite Falls Vote Against It, the Elcon Proposal Isn’t Dead Yet. Activists Plan to Double Their Efforts to Kill It

Despite Falls Vote Against It, the Elcon Proposal Isn’t Dead Yet. Activists Plan to Double Their Efforts to Kill It | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

The next few weeks mark a crucial juncture for a proposed toxic waste treatment plant in Bucks County that environmentalists say would pollute the air and potentially the drinking water of nearby ... towns.

 

Israel-based Elcon Recycling Services has plans to build a facility in Falls Township that would store and treat nearly 200,000 tons per year of hazardous and residual waste. This includes mercury, lead, cadmium, benzine, vinyl chloride and 260 other chemicals. Elcon says the facility is safe and “eco-friendly,” and has touted the 150 temporary construction jobs and 55 full-time jobs that would be created by the facility.

 

But nearby residents say the loss of a few dozen jobs is a small price to pay to ensure the health and safety of the region. Many of them speak from experience, and worry that the same towns that woke up covered with red dust from the Fairless Works steel mill in the mid-20th century would be in the path of pollution from Elcon’s stack. If built, the plant would be near the Delaware River, directly across from Hamilton Township and upwind from Bordentown City.

 

The body that has the most important function—the Falls Township Board of Supervisors—met regarding Elcon for the first time during a special meeting April 30. The board voted unanimously to reject the proposal, prompting a standing ovation from the residents who packed the meeting at Pennsbury High School West’s Keller Hall (read “Victory! Falls Supervisors Reject Elcon Plan”).

 

The vote comes on the heels of a March 26 unanimous decision from the Falls Township planning commission to not recommend plans for the Elcon facility. The planning commission does not have legal authority, but the Falls supervisor board does factor its recommendations into decisions.

 

The proposal isn’t dead, though, despite the Falls Township votes. Later this month, another important moment will happen when the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announces its decision on a series of Phase II permit applications submitted by Elcon. If deemed technically complete, the process advances to a 45-day public comment period.

 

Even a PADEP decision against Elcon would not necessarily mark the end of a process that has drawn out for five years.

 

“It is time we double our efforts, because Elcon has already threatened to sue the township and we need to provide all the information and community support to PADEP to get them to reach the same conclusion as the supervisors did — the Delaware River is just too critical of a resource to risk,” [Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s Fred] Stine said. after the April 30 rejection.

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Victory! Falls Supervisors Reject Elcon Plan

Victory! Falls Supervisors Reject Elcon Plan | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

Four years of controversy over a proposed hazardous waste treatment facility in Falls culminated in a dramatic denial vote by the township board of supervisors Tuesday night, eliciting a rousing applause by an audience of hundreds who stayed until just before 10 p.m. to witness the moment.

 

It was apparent early in the more than three-hour meeting that the supervisors were not keen to the plan, brought by Elcon Recycling Services, as their questioning of the company’s representatives was sharp and critical. Supervisor Jeffrey Dence led questioning late in the exchange, expressing concerns there wasn’t enough room to put in an additional fire lane for emergency access.

 

Questioning from Falls supervisors and the township’s professional staff made it clear they took specific issues with Elcon’s presented plans. The plans call for the processing of between 150,000 to 210,000 tons of chemicals and pharmaceutical waste each year, according to the company’s past filings. The company aims to build the facility on a 23-acre site in the Keystone Industrial Port Complex, an approximately 3,000-acre industrial park encompassing the former footprint of U.S. Steel’s Fairless Works operation.

 

Elcon representatives say its facility would be state of the art and create up to 120 short-term construction jobs and about 50 full-time operations jobs. The company has said the plant would produce little pollution and adhere to all environmental regulations. [Video rebuttal: “John Mack Lists the Air Pollutants the ELCON Hazardous Waste Treatment Plant Would Be Allowed to Emit”]

Opponents, primarily made up of local residents and backed by local environmental groups [In 2016, Newtown Township - among others - passed a resolution opposing this plant due to "danger" to drinking water. See here for more information about that.], are skeptical.

 

Falls officials also raised concerns over access for emergency vehicles, exit routes for workers in the event of an emergency, potential pitfalls in the facility’s spill containment measures, and other issues. One of the more pointed critiques was that Elcon would need to bring in about 5,000 trucks with 70,000 cubic yards of soil fill to raise the footprint of the facility above the floodplain, something they suggested that the zoning code discourages.

 

After the vote to deny, supervisor chairman Robert Harvie, Jr. noted the Department of Environmental Protection still has its own review of Elcon’s applications and doesn’t have to take into account the township’s decision, although he said he hoped it would [read “A Crowded Meeting Pits Citizens Against the PA DEP Regarding the Elcon Proposal”]. It also remains to be seen whether Elcon will appeal the township’s decision; representatives left the room before the conclusion of the full meeting, which closed with other township business.

 

John Brodowski, deputy mayor of Bordentown City in New Jersey, which has also opposed the plan, used his public comment to discourage the company from doing so.

 

“Respect the decision,” Brodowski said. “Let’s not drag this out with lawsuit after lawsuit.”

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"Keep Bucks County Clean - Say No to Elcon," Urges Activist Steve Cickay

"Keep Bucks County Clean - Say No to Elcon," Urges Activist Steve Cickay | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

[Tracking air pollution is extremely technical and complex, but the general rule is that pollution affects a 30-mile radius from the source, guided by the prevailing wind. The red circle in the map above shows the roughly 30-mile radius that could be affected by toxic fumes emitted from an Elcon incinerator. Source.]

 

I love Bucks County. I moved here in 1985, raised my family here, and will most likely stay here the rest of my life. I love the Delaware River and am always awed by the fact that since some famous general named George crossed that river long ago on his way to Trenton to fight our enemy, we now have a great democracy.

But I believe a new enemy is attacking our precious river today. A faraway company called ELCON wants to come to Falls Township and build a hazardous waste processing site right near our precious river. About 20 truckloads of poison will be shipped to this site on our roads every day causing great potential harm to our air, our land, and our water.

Some of you may think this is just a Falls Township problem. Well, it isn’t. Many municipalities (Bensalem, Bristol, Chalfont, Doylestown, Falls Township, Hilltown, Lower Makefield, Lower Southampton, Middletown Township, Morrisville, New Britain, New Hope, Newtown, Solebury, Telford, Tullytown, Warrington, West Rockhill and Yardley) are served potable water by a public water supplier that withdraws water directly from the Delaware River. If there is an accident at the Falls ELCON site, the poison will of course flow downstream, but also upstream for 12 miles. And of course dumping tons of burned toxic residue into the air we all breathe is a good thing? The benefit is ELCON makes money, and we risk our air, land and water. Does that sound like a good deal to you?

Luckily you live in a democracy and have a chance to influence our local leaders. The Falls Township supervisors, led by Bob Harvie, are conducting a special public meeting about ELCON on Tuesday, April 30 at 7 p.m. The public will have almost two hours to voice their concerns. Please attend and tell the Falls Township supervisors to vote against ELCON coming to our treasured Bucks County. The meeting is at Pennsbury High School West at 608 Olds Boulevard, Fairless Hills, PA 19030.

I hope to see you there, but if you can’t make the meeting, email the Falls Township supervisors. Their addresses can be found at https://www.fallstwp.com/government/board-of-supervisors.aspxt

Let’s keep Bucks County a great place to live for you, your families and future generations. Let’s send ELCON on a free trip somewhere else far away. And let’s keep those truckloads of poison far away from the beautiful Bucks County we all love. See you at the meeting Tuesday.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Related:

  • “Opponents Keep Pressure on Falls Supervisors to Reject Elcon's Proposal to Build Incinerator”; http://sco.lt/4vJzDU
  • “John Mack Lists the Air Pollutants the ELCON Hazardous Waste Treatment Plant Would Be Allowed to Emit”; http://sco.lt/8qcY8e
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PA Senator Maria Collett Introduces Two PFAS Bills - Classifying PFAS as Hazardous Substances & Lowering "Safe" Limits in Drinking Water to 10 ppt vs EPA's 70 ppt 

PA Senator Maria Collett Introduces Two PFAS Bills - Classifying PFAS as Hazardous Substances & Lowering "Safe" Limits in Drinking Water to 10 ppt vs EPA's 70 ppt  | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

Sen. Maria Collett, D-12, of Lower Gwynedd, introduced two bills Monday that she says would help Pennsylvania tackle problems relating to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS.

 

As told in a special report Sunday, five years after the unregulated chemicals were discovered in local drinking water supplies, the contaminants still are causing issues for impacted municipalities and residents. Collett’s first bill, S.B. 581, would create an interim drinking water standard for four types of PFAS at 10 parts per trillion, which is just a fraction of a 70 ppt health advisory level put forth by the Environmental Protection Agency.

 

The interim standard would remain in place until either the EPA or the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection creates an official standard. The EPA has said it intends to announce whether it will pursue an official standard for the chemicals by the end of the year, but that setting it would take several additional years. The DEP has said it will set a standard, but could take two years or more.

 

A second bill offered by Collett, S.B. 582, classifies PFAS as a hazardous substance under Pennsylvania’s Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act. Experts say such a move could help impacted residents and communities recoup costs related to PFAS contamination and potentially give them legal standing to make polluters clean up the chemicals, particularly if a drinking water standard is also in place.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Further Reading:

  • “Editorial: EPA Spins Its Wheels on Setting Maximum Contaminant Level for PFAS”; http://sco.lt/5uSirA
  • “As EPA Launches National PFAS Plan, Pennsylvania Says Its People “Can’t Wait” for Federal Government & Launches Its Own Plan to Set Lower Health Limits for PFOA and PFOS”; http://sco.lt/7EkKRc
  • “PFAS From Tainted Water on Military Bases My Be Spreading to Other Towns in Bucks, Montco”; http://sco.lt/7Lill
  • “Perfluorinated Compounds Detected in Newtown Township's Water Supply”; http://sco.lt/70ujU9
  • “Senators From BOTH Parties Press EPA to Develop Enforceable Standards Limiting PFOA and PFOS in Drinking Water”; http://sco.lt/8NQUwz
  • “U.S. House Launches Bipartisan PFAS Task Force That Promises to Set Formal Drinking Water Standard for PFAS”; http://sco.lt/6JjI4P
  • “NJ Department of Environmental Protection Set to Regulate PFOS, PFOA in Drinking Water. Safe Limits Will Be Much Lower Than Recommended by the PA DEP.”; http://sco.lt/63DJ8T
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The Giants at the Heart of the Opioid Crisis: “How Do the C.E.O.s of These Companies Sleep at Night?”

The Giants at the Heart of the Opioid Crisis: “How Do the C.E.O.s of These Companies Sleep at Night?” | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

There are the Sacklers, the family that controls Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. There are the doctors who ran pill mills, and the rogue pharmacists who churned out opioid orders by the thousands.

 

But the daunting financial muscle that has driven the spread of prescription opioids in the United States comes from the distributors — companies that act as middlemen, trucking medications of all kinds from vast warehouses to hospitals, clinics and drugstores.

 

The industry’s giants, Cardinal Health, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen, are all among the 15 largest American companies by revenue. Together, they distribute more than 90 percent of the nation’s drug and medical supplies.

 

New civil suits from the attorneys general in New York, Vermont and Washington State accuse distributors of brazenly devising systems to evade regulators. They allege that the companies warned many pharmacies at risk of being reported to the Drug Enforcement Administration, helped others to increase and circumvent limits on how many opioids they were allowed to buy, and often gave advance notice on the rare occasions they performed audits.

 

 

Three-fourths of prescriptions at a Queens pharmacy supplied by Amerisource were written by doctors who were later indicted or convicted, the New York complaint said. For more than five years, Cardinal shipped to a pharmacy with the highest oxycodone volume in Suffolk County, N.Y., despite continually flagging its orders as suspicious. McKesson kept shipping to two pharmacies six years after learning that they had been filling prescriptions from doctors who were likely engaging in crimes. The shipments stopped only last year, after the doctors were indicted.

 

“How do the C.E.O.s of these companies sleep at night?” Bob Ferguson, Washington’s attorney general, said at a recent news conference.

 

Read the complete article published in the NYT…

johnmacknewtown's insight:

[According to the Civil Lawsuit by Newtown Township against Opioid manufacturers and distributors, “Rather than abide by their non-delegable duties under public safety laws, the Distributor Defendants, individually and collectively through trade groups in the industry, pressured the U.S. Department of Justice to "halt" prosecutions and lobbied Congress to strip the DEA of its ability to immediately suspend distributor registrations. The result was a "sharp drop in enforcement actions" and the passage of the "Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act" which, ironically, raised the burden for the DEA to revoke a distributor's license from "imminent harm" to "immediate harm" and provided the industry the right to "cure" any violations of law before a suspension order can be issued.”]

 

Related stories:

  •  “Newtown Township Supervisors Vote to File Civil Lawsuit Against Drug Manufacturers Over Opioid Crisis”; http://sco.lt/7Wibjd 
  • “OxyContin Opioid Maker Purdue Pharma Reportedly Exploring Chapter 11 Bankruptcy”; http://sco.lt/8OuLIG 
  • “Purdue #Pharma Doesn't Want Court to Unseal Oxycontin Marketing Documents. What's It Hiding?”; http://sco.lt/6wb24f 
  • “OxyContin's 12-hour Problem: Misrepresentation of Efficacy Leads to Addiction & Purdue Knew It”: http://sco.lt/8RfD5F 
  • “The History of Purdue's Marketing of Oxycontin & Its Connection to the Opiate Epidemic”: http://sco.lt/6RajLd 
  • “Doctor with Ties to Purdue #Pharma Helped Develop Canadian Opioid-Prescribing Guidelines”: http://sco.lt/7f1iin 
  • “FDA to Determine if Oxymorphone, Produced by KVK Tech in Newtown, is More Likely to Be Abused Than Other Opioids”; http://sco.lt/5OUnaa 
  • “Opioid Sales Reps Swarmed New York at Height of Crisis – ‘Just Like Dorito's,’ Said Mallinckrodt Pharma Exec. ‘Keep eating,’ he added, ‘we’ll make more.’”; http://sco.lt/95yL0C 
  • “Teva & Cephalon Try to Prevent Release of Internal Marketing Plan for Fentora - an Opioid Drug”; http://sco.lt/5U5R3Z 
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Study Shows PFAS Levels in Residents’ Blood Higher the Closer They Live to Horsham Air Guard Station

Study Shows PFAS Levels in Residents’ Blood Higher the Closer They Live to Horsham Air Guard Station | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

Gov. Tom Wolf’s PFAS Action Team met with residents in Abington, Pa. on Monday to update them on plans to test water sources across the state for contamination by a toxic class of chemicals known as PFAS.

 

But many residents expressed frustration at a regulatory process they say is taking too long.

 

At the meeting, state health officials also announced the continuation of pilot study that looked at blood samples from exposed residents in Bucks and Montgomery counties. That study found elevated levels of PFAS in the blood serum of the 235 residents it surveyed.

 

Now, the health department will collect urine, dust and water samples from those residents to try to better understand the health effects and routes of exposure.

 

State Epidemiologist Sharon Watkins said the Department of Health is continuing to analyze the blood samples taken last year and, in a multivariate analysis, has concluded that higher blood PFAS levels were correlated with a person’s drinking water source.

 

“Even considering all other things,” Watkins said, “it did matter which public water system you were getting your drinking water from.”

 

The highest serum PFAS levels were found in those who received their water from the Horsham Water and Sewer Authority, which is closest to the Horsham Air Guard Station. The lowest levels were found in North Wales and Warrington Township – the farthest from the bases.

 

The Department of Health will hold a meeting April 29 in Horsham to discuss that analysis in more detail.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Further Reading:

  • “Editorial: EPA Spins Its Wheels on Setting Maximum Contaminant Level for PFAS”; http://sco.lt/5uSirA
  • “As EPA Launches National PFAS Plan, Pennsylvania Says Its People “Can’t Wait” for Federal Government & Launches Its Own Plan to Set Lower Health Limits for PFOA and PFOS”; http://sco.lt/7EkKRc
  • “Perfluorinated Compounds Detected in Newtown Township's Water Supply”; http://sco.lt/70ujU9
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Opioid Sales Reps Swarmed New York at Height of Crisis - "Just Like Dorito's," Said Mallinckrodt Pharma Exec. “Keep eating,” he added, “we’ll make more.”

Opioid Sales Reps Swarmed New York at Height of Crisis - "Just Like Dorito's," Said Mallinckrodt Pharma Exec. “Keep eating,” he added, “we’ll make more.” | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

Disclosures in the latest filings in the New York case:

■ Purdue employees knew as early as 1999 that people were abusing OxyContin and knew the ways they were doing so. In an internal email to a senior executive, an employee disputed the claim that some abusers of the drug “shoot,” or inject, it, saying that they crushed the tablets and snorted the powder. “Injection is not too popular because the waxy junk in the tablets can mess up the user’s veins,” the employee wrote. “At least, that’s what I’ve read,” the email said. “I understand that OxyContin is the preferred drug,” the email said.

■ Purdue Pharma spent $68 million from 2006 to 2016 on opioid education, much of it directed to front groups, and $1.5 million in New York in roughly the same period to push its message “through seemingly legitimate sources,” according to the complaint.

■ Mallinckrodt paid $300,000 to a Kansas doctor, Sri Nalamachu, who was featured in a brochure in which “he criticized efforts to restrict access to pain prescription medication due to concerns” about opioid abuse, the complaint said. The payment was never disclosed, in the brochure or elsewhere.

■ An executive at a regional drug distribution company asked a Mallinckrodt executive to keep supplying the opioid oxycodone. It’s “like people are addicted to these things. Oh, wait, people are,” the first executive wrote. The Mallinckrodt executive responded that it was “just like Doritos.”

“Keep eating,” he added, “we’ll make more.”

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Related stories:

 

  • “Newtown Township Supervisors Vote to File Civil Lawsuit Against Drug Manufacturers Over Opioid Crisis”; http://sco.lt/7Wibjd 
  • “OxyContin Opioid Maker Purdue Pharma Reportedly Exploring Chapter 11 Bankruptcy”; http://sco.lt/8OuLIG 
  • “Purdue #Pharma Doesn't Want Court to Unseal Oxycontin Marketing Documents. What's It Hiding?”; http://sco.lt/6wb24f 
  • “OxyContin's 12-hour Problem: Misrepresentation of Efficacy Leads to Addiction & Purdue Knew It”: http://sco.lt/8RfD5F 
  • “The History of Purdue's Marketing of Oxycontin & Its Connection to the Opiate Epidemic”: http://sco.lt/6RajLd 
  • “Doctor with Ties to Purdue #Pharma Helped Develop Canadian Opioid-Prescribing Guidelines”: http://sco.lt/7f1iin 
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On Earth Day, April 22, View "The Devil We Know" Documentary About PFAS at the County Theater in Newtown. FREE!

On Earth Day, April 22, View "The Devil We Know" Documentary About PFAS at the County Theater in Newtown. FREE! | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

The BuxMont Coalition for Safer Water presents this eye-opening documentary in honor of Earth Day. The citizens of Parkersburg, West Virginia rise up against the forces that polluted their town, filing one of the largest class action lawsuits in the history of environmental law. But the story reaches further, revealing that as many as 110 million Americans may be drinking water tainted with PFAS chemicals.

 

FREE! Register here: countytheater.org

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Further Reading:

  • “Editorial: EPA Spins Its Wheels on Setting Maximum Contaminant Level for PFAS”; http://sco.lt/5uSirA 
  • “As EPA Launches National PFAS Plan, Pennsylvania Says Its People “Can’t Wait” for Federal Government & Launches Its Own Plan to Set Lower Health Limits for PFOA and PFOS”; http://sco.lt/7EkKRc 
  • “Perfluorinated Compounds Detected in Newtown Township's Water Supply”; http://sco.lt/70ujU9 
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