Monday, October 13, 2008

Great Series from the Columbus Dispatch

Over the weekend, the Columbus Dispatch published a six-part expose/overview about the diversion and sale of controlled substances. Mike Pramik, the reporter who wrote all six parts, has pulled together a must-read series, especially since the Dispatch is also Cardinal Health’s (CAH) hometown paper.

Here are links to the six parts along with my commentary on each article.

Online Overdose – The main article provides a succinct summary of the biggest problem with the pharmaceutical supply chain today. Guess what? It’s really easy to get controlled substances via rogue Internet pharmacies sites, which “flourished in a virtually unchecked pharmaceutical supply chain that allowed anyone to answer a few questions and easily receive addictive medications, the same controlled substances that are in high demand on the street.” Lots of good facts and quotes, including one from yours truly. For more background, see my post The DEA's Anti-Diversion Strategy.

Cardinal pays up for drug slip-ups – A behind-the-scenes look at the problems that led to the license suspensions at Cardinal Health (CAH). Mike even quotes Richard Molitor, whom I interviewed back in February 2008. There are some eyebrow-raising statements in this article about what happened between the DEA and Cardinal, including some very negative statements from Cardinal’s former director of compliance. Hard to tell what is true and what is spin. Regardless, Mike did some nice reporting to pull together this story.

Small-town pharmacist caught up in scheme – The strange tale of how independent pharmacist Steve Holtel of Stoltz Drugs got mixed up with a national scheme to fill false prescriptions faxed from other states. All pharmacists should read this cautionary tale, although Mr. Holtel is a complex character with a troubled legal past.

Ex-employee, Cardinal both profited in buying discounted medicine – Summary of previous allegations about secondary market trading by Cardinal employees. You can read more in Dangerous Doses or Cardinal’s agreement with then-New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer.

Pending law will regulate online prescription-drug sales – Summary of the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act, which will be signed by President Bush any day.

Demand for addictive drugs testing security – Drug addicts are quite persistent.


Today’s photo has nothing whatsoever to do with this post. It’s just a friendly reminder of another great series from this blogger's hometown (despite last night's game)!

1 comment:

  1. Always amazed at how this stuff goes virtually unnoticed! Thanks for sharing this. We need to pay attention to Drug Channels (the blog and the actual channels themselves).

    Viva LV!