Attorneys are becoming the heroes in the prescription opioid epidemic ravaging the US! | GlobalNewsCentre.com

Attorneys are becoming the heroes in the prescription opioid epidemic ravaging the US!

Rick Hollawell

Rick Hollawell represents a family in N.J. whose daughter Sarah Fuller died in 2016 at the age of 32 as a result of being prescribed Subsys (fentanyl).

Is it an injustice that in 2007, Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin was charged in federal court and pleaded guilty to criminally marketing their dangerous and highly addictive opioid yet there were no arrests?

Marianne Skolek-Perez Global News Centre

(MYRTLE BEACH)  Last month, “CBS 60 Minutes” and “The Washington Post” did an explosive expose on a former Drug Enforcement Agency official whistle blower, Joe Rannazzisi — who was brave beyond words to expose political wrongdoings fueling the prescription opioid epidemic.   Here is the link to “The Washington Post” article https://lnkd.in/dcqtrrU.  Rannazzisi wears several hats — former DEA official, pharmacist and attorney.

There is another unsung hero in this opioid epidemic.  His name is Richard (Rick) Hollawell and he is an attorney practicing law in my home state of N.J.

Rick Hollawell represents a family in N.J. whose daughter Sarah Fuller died in 2016 at the age of 32 as a result of being prescribed Subsys (fentanyl).  Subsys manufactured by Insys is approved to be prescribed as a sublingual spray approved by the FDA to treat breakthrough cancer pain.

Sarah Fuller was prescribed Subsys by her physician — although she didn’t have cancer.  Sarah had neck and back pain resulting from two car accidents.  Why would her doctor prescribe a dangerous opioid intended for cancer pain to Sarah?  Rick Hollawell wondered why also and wanted answers.

Fentanyl is a man-made opioid that is 100 times more powerful than morphine.

Sarah Fuller’s physician made no mention to her that there were very real dangers with being prescribed Subsys, or that it was only intended for cancer patients.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri conducted an investigation into Insys and released a report and audio implicating the company in deceitful marketing of a very dangerous opioid.  Employees claiming to be from doctor’s offices used a toll-free phone number — later traced to Insys — to call insurance providers and give false information about patients to increase profits in prescribing Subsys to unsuspecting patients — who did not have cancer such as Sarah Fuller.

Rick Hollawell and Sarah’s mother traveled to Missouri to testify in front of Senator McCaskill about the criminal activity of Insys resulting in the death of a 32 year old bride to be.

As a result of Senator McCaskill’s investigation into Insys and subsequent report — as well as a brave attorney by the name of Rick Hollawell, the Fuller family has some justice for Sarah.  John Kapoor, founder and multi-billionaire of Insys was recently arrested and charged with the illegal distribution of a fentanyl spray intended for cancer patients.

Is it an injustice that in 2007, Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin was charged in federal court and pleaded guilty to criminally marketing their dangerous and highly addictive opioid yet there were no arrests?  Purdue Pharma’s plea agreement was drawn up by none other than “America’s Mayor” Rudy Giuliani. He specifically had the plea agreement not involve any arrests or jail.  Fast forward these past ten years and the devastation caused by a dangerous opioid called OxyContin.  Justice from “America’s Mayor?”  Not even close.

For now I am grateful for two attorneys named Joe Rannazzisi and Rick Hollawell.  I am proud to know them and they give me hope for victims of horrific addiction and death by their bravery.  Now it’s time for law firms throughout the country representing states suing pharmaceutical companies for the devastation caused by the over-prescribing of dangerous opioids to follow Rannazzisi and Hollawell’s lead and give meaning to the word “justice”.  It is long overdue.


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skolek-new-photo-700Global News Centre’s Marianne Skolek, is an Investigative Reporter who focuses on the Prescription Opioid/Heroin Epidemic in the U.S. and Canada. In particular, Marianne has covered the criminal marketing of OxyContin going back to 1999 and continuing to the present.

In 2002, Marianne lost her daughter, Jill to prescribed OxyContin which her physician referred to as “mobility in a bottle.” It was, in fact, death in a bottle. After doing extensive research on the maker of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma, Marianne began working with the Department of Justice in Virginia in their criminal investigation into Purdue Pharma and in July 2007 was asked by the U.S. Attorney John Brownlee prosecuting the case to testify against the three CEO’s of Purdue Pharma, Michael Friedman, Paul Goldenheim, MD and Howard Udell, Chief Counsel. The CEO’s pleaded guilty to misleading the medical profession about the dangers of OxyContin. Marianne also testified against Purdue Pharma at a Judiciary Hearing of the U.S. Senate in July 2007.

In addition, a dangerous and highly addictive opioid named Zohydro has been approved by the FDA against their Advisory Committee’s advice and Marianne continues to alert Attorneys General, Senators and Congressmen as to the FDA’s irresponsibility in the out of control prescription opioid/heroin epidemic killing and addicting in the tens of thousands each year. Zohydro has been referred to as “heroin in a capsule” and its lowest dosage (10mg) contains twice as much hydrocodone as found in a Vicodin pill. The highest single dose of Zohydro contains as much hydrocodone as 5 to 10 tablets of Vicodin or Lortab. Zohydro mixed with alcohol can be fatal and has no abuse deterrent built in which will make it easy to crush and deliver a fatal dose of the opioid.

Currently Marianne has been instrumental in calling for the termination of Margaret Hamburg, MD, Commissioner of the FDA as well as Bob A. Rappaport, MD and Douglas Throckmorton, MD for their lack of commitment to safeguarding the American public against the prescription opioid/heroin epidemic. Marianne’s research, writing and contact with government agencies and attorneys has also exposed the heavily funded pain foundations set up by the pharmaceutical industry and their paid physician spokespersons who convinced the medical boards in 50 states and Canada that dangerous opioids such as OxyContin were less likely to be addictive. These physicians — in particular Scott Fishman, MD, J. David Haddox, DDS, MD, Perry Fine, MD, Lynn R. Webster, MD, Russell Portenoy, MD also downplayed the risks of addictive opioids in books as authors. These books are still available for sale and promoted to the medical profession.

Here are links to Marianne’s involvement in exposing the national conspiracy of the prescription opioid/heroin epidemic, the FDA, the pharmaceutical industry, their pain foundations and paid physician spokespersons.

http://www.salem-news.com/by_author.php?reporter=Marianne%20Skolek

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmPG1VjD61U&list=UUWoHUEr4ZAbQOfIqtOArjgg&index=6&feature=plcp

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=855537227796352&set=vb.658186307531446&type=2&theater

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