Little-known makers of generic drugs played central role in opioid crisis, records show

Little-known makers of generic drugs played central role in opioid crisis, records show

Publication date: Jul 28, 2019

The DEA database attributes much of the 76 billion opioid pills produced and shipped from 2006 through 2012 to three companies: Actavis, Par Pharmaceutical and SpecGx, a subsidiary of Mallinckrodt.

(Washington Post illustration/Kristoffer Tripplaar/Sipa via AP Images) Douglas S. Boothe was the leader of a little-known generic-drug maker seven years ago when federal agents approached his company with an urgent plea: Slash production of an addictive pain medication that was fueling a national crisis.

Boothe -wasn’t interested” and rejected the Drug Enforcement Administration’s request that Actavis voluntarily cut its supply of oxycodone to U. S. pharmacies, according to exhibits unsealed recently in a landmark lawsuit that accuses drug companies of recklessly distributing billions of addictive pain pills despite glaring signs of abuse.

[Newly unsealed exhibits in opioid case reveal inner workings of the drug industry] Drugmaker Purdue Pharma and its owners, the Sackler family, have for years borne the brunt of public criticism for inventing and deceptively marketing one of the most well-known opioid painkillers, OxyContin, in the 1990s.

The documents and a DEA database that tracks every opioid pill sold in the United States from 2006 through 2012 are being made public a year after The Washington Post and the owner of the Charleston Gazette-Mail in West Virginia began pushing for their release.

It attributes the vast majority of the 76 billion opioid pills produced and shipped from 2006 through 2012 to three companies that are now controlled by large multinational drugmakers: SpecGx, a subsidiary of Ireland-based Mallinckrodt; Par Pharmaceutical, owned by Endo Pharmaceuticals, also in Ireland; and Actavis, part of Israel-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.

Although federal law compels companies to monitor the pattern, frequency and amounts of drug orders, Boothe emphasized that Actavis could not control how its drugs were ultimately used.

At Actavis, Douglas S. Boothe rejected the DEA’s request that the company voluntarily cut its supply of oxycodone to U. S. pharmacies, according to recently unsealed exhibits.

The companies further asserted that they should not be held responsible for the actions of those who abused the drugs and that the DEA had all the information it needed to block pills from reaching the black market.

What internal drug company documents on opioids reveal Since the landmark fine for deceptive marketing, opioid manufacturers have faced few penalties.

With its approval in hand, and construction of a manufacturing plant underway to make billions of pills a year, Amide became the target of a buyout by what was then Actavis, a company based in Europe.

Months later, Actavis bought a second New Jersey generics company and installed one of its executives, Boothe, as the head of the companies’ combined generics division.

Actavis’s sales of the generic version of OxyContin and other drugs containing oxycodone grew from 559 million in 2006 to more than 1. 1 billion in 2012, according to the DEA database.

Agents in Boockholdt’s office analyzed the supply chains, tracing oxycodone from Actavis’s plants in New Jersey to Walgreens and other pharmacies in Florida, some selling a million doses a year.

Concepts Keywords
Actavis Little known makers
Addiction Supply chains
Algorithm Clear generics manufacturers
Amide Manufacturer distributor
Billionaire Opioids
Black Market Sackler family
Cartel Psychoactive drugs
Charleston Gazette Euphoriants
Controlled Substance RTT
Customer Service Morphinans
Dam Chemical compounds
DEA Purdue Pharma
Death Rate Oxycodone
Delaware Mallinckrodt
Deutsche Bank Drug diversion
Division Place auditors
Earthquake Career pharmaceuticals
Endo Pharmaceuticals Review auditor
Epidemic Opioid manufacturers
Ethics Comment story giant
Europe Suspicious systems
Flood Findings
Florida Generic pharmaceuticals
Frequency Federal law
Generic Drug Months oxycodone manufacturer
Generic Drugs Sales auditor
Generics
Generics Business
Government Database
Guard
Hydrochloride
Hydrocodone
Illinois
Interchange
Ireland
Liabilities
License Plates
Magnitude
Mallinckrodt
Manager
Michael Clarke
Morristown
Multinational
Narcotic
Narcotics
Northern Virginia
Opioid
Opioid Epidemic
Opioids
Oxycodone
OxyContin
Pain
Pain Medication
Pain Reliever
Painkillers
Par Pharmaceutical
Patent
Pentagon
Pharmaceutical
Pharmaceuticals
Pharmacies
Princeton
Privately Held Company
Purdue
Purdue Pharma
Radar
Ring
Saidin
Slash
Sonorant
South Florida
Southwest Virginia
Street
Supply Chain
System Monitor
Teva
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
The Washington Post
Thrust
United States
Virginia
Walgreens
Washington
Washington Post
West Virginia
Wholesaler
Xerox

Semantics

Type Source Name
gene UNIPROT NR1I2
gene UNIPROT JTB
gene UNIPROT SLC35G1
gene UNIPROT FBXW7
drug DRUGBANK Oxycodone
gene UNIPROT LUC7L3
pathway BSID Release
disease MESH death
gene UNIPROT NFKBIZ
gene UNIPROT SGSM3
gene UNIPROT MANEA
gene UNIPROT INPP5D
disease MESH multiple
gene UNIPROT SELL
gene UNIPROT ARID1A
disease MESH narcotic
gene UNIPROT ESR1
gene UNIPROT ERAL1
disease MESH growth
drug DRUGBANK Hydrocodone
gene UNIPROT ALYREF
gene UNIPROT DBF4
gene UNIPROT MAP6
gene UNIPROT BAD
drug DRUGBANK Methionine
gene UNIPROT SLTM
gene UNIPROT MET
gene UNIPROT RNMT
disease MESH community
drug DRUGBANK Ranitidine
gene UNIPROT RAN
gene UNIPROT SMIM10L2B
gene UNIPROT SMIM10L2A
gene UNIPROT RXFP2
drug DRUGBANK Tropicamide
gene UNIPROT CFLAR
gene UNIPROT EHD1
gene UNIPROT BEST1
gene UNIPROT MEMO1
gene UNIPROT BANK1
gene UNIPROT ANP32B
gene UNIPROT TNFSF13
gene UNIPROT THOP1
gene UNIPROT LARGE1
gene UNIPROT SET
disease MESH separation
gene UNIPROT FASTK
gene UNIPROT GRHL3

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