Licensed Drug Dealers Kill as Many as Dealers on the Street…and Don’t Go to Jail

As one of the largest manufacturers of generic Oxycodone, Mallinckrodt LLC agreed to pay $35 million on July 11, 2017, as announced by the DOJ and DEA, for violating the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). It was a record and first settlement of this magnitude with a manufacturer of pharmaceuticals for failing to detect and notify the DEA of clearly suspicious orders of controlled substances, such as Oxycodone, the abuse of which is an integral part of the current nationwide opioid epidemic (20,101 opioid overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers occurred in 2015 compared to 12,990 overdose deaths related to heroin; on average, 130 Americans die every day from opioid overdose; 55,000 die each year and 60% of those are attributable to opioid overdose).

This was, however, just the beginning of the legal and criminal problems for Mallinckrodt. On February 27, 2018, U.S. prosecutors in Florida subpoenaed documents concerning the company's Oxymorphone generics. The company is also currently dealing with civil investigative demands from officials in Missouri, Washington, and Kentucky, and subpoenas from New Hampshire, Kentucky, and Alaska. Mallinckrodt was also sued by the Florida Attorney General in November 2018, for deceptive trade practices, RICO, conspiracy, public nuisance, and gross negligence.

It is additionally a principal defendant in the National Prescription Opiate Litigation pending in the Ohio Northern District in Cleveland, Ohio. I am very familiar with the litigation because I was asked on behalf of some rather large clients and communities to consider participation; I declined only because I am nearing retirement. The merit of the litigation is undisputed and will ultimately result in a resolution expected to well exceed $100 billion, and which may rival or exceed the nationwide tobacco litigation settlement of $246 billion. It is estimated that Mallinckrodt Is responsible for 60%, or more, of the black market opioids sold in Florida. This statistic is repeated throughout the country. Mallinckrodt, and all these other licensed drug dealers, are an integral part of the opioid crisis, which is responsible for the deaths of countless thousands of individuals and similarly responsible for ruining countless thousands of lives and families.