What Is It With Republicans And OxyContin?
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For years, (United States Attorney John L.) Brownlee and his small team had been building a case that the maker of the painkiller OxyContin had misled the public when it claimed the drug was less prone to abuse than competing narcotics. The drug was believed to be a factor in hundreds of deaths involving its abuse.
Over the past few weeks, Mr. Giuliani’s consulting business has received increasing scrutiny, at times forcing him to defend his business as he campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination.
But his work for Purdue, the company’s first and longest-running client, provides a window into how he used his standing as an eminent lawyer, a Republican insider and a national celebrity to aid a controversial client and build a business fortune.
In May, Purdue and its executives, after spending tens of millions of dollars to repair the company’s image, agreed to plea deals to avoid a trial. Together, they paid $634.5 million in fines and payments.
After years of denial and a high-profile public relations campaign, the company was forced to admit that it had misled doctors and patients. But to the parents of young people who had died getting high on OxyContin, the absence of jail time was evidence of Mr. Giuliani’s influence.
“It has been implied that because Mr. Giuliani is a prominent national politician, Purdue may have received a favorable deal from the government solely because of politics,” said the judge, James P. Jones of United States District Court. “I completely reject this claim.”
Even today, some of those parents are not persuaded. Ed Bisch, whose son died of an OxyContin overdose, said that he believed that Purdue got a free pass for years thanks to Mr. Giuliani.
“It was all because of Giuliani,” said Mr. Bisch. “And he got to take the money.”
Copyright 2007 Liberaland