Purdue: Faces suit over OxyContin

Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin and other opioid drugs, is being sued by the state of New Hampshire.  In a statement issued yesterday, the Office of the Attorney General said it filed the suit at the conclusion of an investigation that began in September, 2 0 1 5.  Prosecutors say the investigation produced evidence that led them to conclude that Purdue has committed numerous violations of the state’s Consumer Protection Act, Medicaid Fraud Act and other state laws.  The 20170808-purdue-pharma-complaint, which we’ve uploaded with this news read at Girard at Large dot com, was filed yesterday in Merrimack County Superior Court.  The state alleges the drug maker:

  • engaged in unfair or deceptive marketing practices by, among other things significantly downplaying the serious risk of addiction posed by OxyContin and other products;
  • overstated the efficacy of chronic opioid therapy by claiming that OxyContin lasts for 12 hours when, for many patients, that is not true;
  • claiming that its product is tamper resistant and thereby nearly impossible to abuse when the product’s tamper resistant properties are easily defeated; and
  • by failing to report instances of suspicious dispensing of its products, as required by law.

Allegations made

The press release quotes Deputy Attorney General Ann Rice, saying, quote:

“Over the past two years, our office has conducted an extensive investigation into Purdue’s marketing of OxyContin and its other products in New Hampshire.  The CDC reports four out of five heroin users started with prescription opioids. To defeat the epidemic, we must stop creating new users and part of that is making sure these highly addictive and dangerous drugs are marketed truthfully and without deception and in such a way as not to minimize addiction risks or overstate benefits to patients.”

The A G’s investigation into Purdue’s marketing activities has been on-going despite Purdue’s refusal to provide documents pursuant to a lawful subpoena issued in July, 2015.

Vargas: Not me!

Manchester School Superintendent Dr. Bolgen Vargas says don’t pay attention to a Twitter page claiming to be his.  It’s not.  The page came to the attention of Girard at Large after a local political agitator sent an email to the Board of School Committee complaining that Vargas blocked him from the page, not that anyone would have blamed him for doing it, by the way.   Anyway, we took one look at the page and knew it wasn’t a real one, but checked with Vargas.  He said the page, which has about twenty followers and a bunch of really odd Tweets, was not his and provided Girard at Large with evidence that he’s petitioned Twitter to remove the impostor page.  The bogus page was created in December of last year, probably by someone who, for whatever reason, wants to make the superintendent look not so super.  Vargas will be our guest tomorrow for the Is Our Children Learning segment.

Special election primary results

James Headd, the Chairman of Auburn’s Board of Selectmen and a former state rep. won yesterday’s G O P primary to fill the vacant House seat representing Auburn, Chester and Sandown.  He defeated Derry firefighter Anthony Rossignol and former State Rep. James Devine 2 8 9 to 1 3 3 to 1 1 3 respectively.  Headd will square off with Democrat Kari Learner and Libertarian James Jarvis in the General Election on September 2 6th.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

Workshop announced

The School District Governance Association of New Hampshire is hosting a seminar entitled “How to Manage Your School District/SAU Legal Engagements.”  It’s intended to provide elected school officials with information needed to understand their role and right to know about the legal actions undertaken by their S A U or district.  It will answer questions such as:

  • Should your board have an attorney of record that is separate and distinct from the district and or S A U?  And,
  • How should you manage your legal engagements?

Lehman

It will be presented by Attorney Richard Lehmann, whose practice in this area of law is well known and respected, this Saturday from nine to twelve thirty at the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications in Manchester.  Admission for members is just ten dollars.  It’s fifteen for non members.  Light refreshments will be available.  The event is open to the public but advanced registration is required via email.  We have the link with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.  [email protected]

The School District Governance Association of New Hampshire is a recently founded forum of experienced elected officials fed up with not only the way school districts are run, but especially with the system that misleads elected officials into positions and practices that deprive them of their rightful roles and responsibilities in school governance.  S D G A’s mission is to restore power to elected officials in the tug of war with superintendents and bureaucracies by:

  • Educating elected school district officials about their actual rights and responsibilities under the law
  • Promulgating best practices in good governance and prudent budgeting
  • Formulating model school district policies so boards will have an independent, alternative resource to those that have designed the current paradigm and
  • Proposing and monitoring legislation that enhances local control in education and openness in administration.

Check it out at s d g a n h dot org and be sure to let your school board members know it’s out there for them.

Eversource:  Now 2 way texting

Eversource customers can now report a power outage and get updates on that outage through text messages, thanks to the energy company’s latest two-way text option.  Customers who want to take advantage of this convenient two-way texting option must first register their mobile device online at Eversource dot com or directly from their mobile phone by texting “R E G” to 2 3 1 2 9.  Once registered, Eversource recommends customers add the outage text number to their contacts for quick access.  Then, it’s easy – text “OUT” to that number when the power goes out and “STAT” to that number for updates.  Those who already receive outage alerts from Eversource via text will automatically be enrolled in the new two-way texting feature.   And, just in case you missed all that, remember, it’s all in this news read at Girard at Large dot com.

That’s NEWS from our own backyard!  Girard at Large hour ___ is next!