Longtime Crusader Against OxyContin Begins To See The Fruits Of Her Struggle

Sep 17, 2019
Ana Venegas / Kaiser Health News

In the 15 years since she lost her son to a single OxyContin pill, Barbara Van Rooyan has had but one up-close look at the people representing the company that made it. 

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma reached a tentative deal Wednesday with about half the states and thousands of local governments over its role in the nation's deadly opioid epidemic, but criticism by several state attorneys general clouded prospects for an end to litigation against the company and the family that owns it.

OxyContin Maker, Government Attorneys In Settlement Talks

Aug 28, 2019
Prescription drugs on a shelf.
Daylina Miller/WUSF

State attorneys general and lawyers representing local governments said Tuesday they are in active settlement talks with Purdue Pharma, the maker of the prescription painkiller OxyContin that is facing billions of dollars in potential liability for its role in the nation's opioid crisis. 

Florida's largest health insurer has seen a 45 percent drop in opioid prescriptions since it stopped paying for OxyContin.

It has been almost a year since Florida Blue announced that it would no longer provide prescription payments for the popular painkiller and would require advanced permission for any opioid prescription lasting longer than seven days.

It replaced OxyContnin in its drug plans with a different opioid, Xtampza. That drug is designed to be more difficult to crush, making it tougher to snort or inject.

Giuliani’s Consulting Firm Helped Halt Purdue Opioid Investigation In Florida

Sep 6, 2018
Pharmacy Technician amongst two shelves of prescription pills.
Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

Six months after hiring former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani’s consulting firm, Purdue Pharma settled a Florida state investigation that had threatened to expose early illegal marketing of its blockbuster drug OxyContin, company and state records show.

This week South Carolina decided to sue the maker OxyContin for deceptive marketing.

By Sharing Painkillers, Friends And Family Members Can Fuel Opioid Epidemic: Study

Jun 14, 2016
Associated Press

As lawmakers grapple with how best to combat the nation’s prescription painkiller abuse crisis, a recent survey is shedding light on how patients who get these medications  — drugs such as OxyContin, methadone or Vicodin — sometimes share or mishandle them.

The Food and Drug Administration is reconsidering whether doctors who prescribe painkillers like OxyContin should be required to take safety training courses, according to federal documents.

Cameron Stewart is a big man. He played high school sports. He served as in the Marine medic corps in Afghanistan and Iraq. But after he was left with crippling back pain, he became a chiropractor — and his greatest professional talent may be empathy.

CDC Guidelines Aim To Curb Painkiller Prescribing

Mar 16, 2016
Toby Talbot / Associated Press

Prescription painkillers should not be a first choice for treating common ailments like back pain and arthritis, according to new federal guidelines designed to reshape how doctors prescribe drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin.

Broader Strategies Necessary To Counter Painkiller Over Prescribing, Researchers Say

Dec 15, 2015
Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images

There’s a prescription drug abuse problem sweeping the United States, but fixing it will require a systematic change focused on how most health professionals prescribe drugs, rather than changing the practices of a few bad apples.

To The Editor:

I understand Health News Florida did not write the story on pharmacies being allocated narcotics, however, I think a disservice to the citizens of Florida to have it be a lead story.

A former Memorial Hospital surgical tech is suing Memorial Healthcare System and a long-time Hollywood surgeon who she says sexually harassed and groped her and other women at the South Broward facility for years.

Most child deaths from abuse or neglect uncovered in a year-long Miami Herald investigation occurred in families where one or both parents had a documented history of drug or alcohol abuse.


A University of Florida psychiatrist and addiction medicine specialist who has an addiction history of his own has gone on leave after running into trouble with the Florida Board of Medicine.

Dr. Harold E. Smith, who was hired in July as an assistant professor at UF Health Florida Recovery Center, requested and was granted an unpaid leave of absence over the weekend, UF Health spokeswoman Michelle Blouin said Monday.

The Food and Drug Administration today took another step toward restricting use of OxyContin and other powerful and often-abused prescription pain medications.

Pill Packs Could Trip Up Thieves

Jun 5, 2013

Banks have dye packs to track stolen cash. Drivers have LoJacks to track stolen cars. Now Florida authorities may get a gadget to track stolen pain pills.