Dr. Alvarez is a graduate of Chicago Medical School and completed his internship in Racine, Wisconsin. Dr. Alvarez completed his residency at Deaconess Health Center in Evansville, Indiana and is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. Dr. Alvarez will be seeing patients at DeMotte Physicians, 520 8th Ave. NE, in DeMotte. Family Medicine Physician Shane Bush, M.D. Dr. Bush is a graduate of Saba University School of Medicine in Devens, Massachusetts. He completed his residency at Resurrection Medical Center in Chicago and is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.
State senators urge maker of OxyContin to turn over names of physicians
The Connecticut-based company amassed a database of some 1,800 doctors who showed signs of dangerous prescribing. Purdue has not alerted authorities to its concerns about the vast majority of those doctors, referring only 154 cases to law enforcement or medical regulators since the program began in 2002. An attorney for Purdue said the decision of whether to refer a doctor was “essentially a judgment call” made on a case-by-case basis after an internal review. Andrew Kolodny, a New York addiction doctor who is leading an effort to curb narcotic painkillers, said such decisions should not be made by a pharmaceutical company. “That judgment needs to be made by state medical boards, not a corporation that benefits from overprescribing,” he said. “Purdue should make the list available to state medical boards so that physicians on the list can be investigated.” A company spokesman, reached after hours Monday, did not have an immediate comment. State Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) said he sent a letter to Purdue on Monday asking the company to disclose the names of California doctors in its database. “If Purdue Pharma is going to sell a highly potent, highly addictive narcotic in California, then the company has a duty to inform authorities in California of those doctors the company believes may be irresponsibly prescribing OxyContin,” Lieu wrote, according to a copy of the letter he provided to The Times. “This duty may or may not be a legal one, but at the very least the company has an ethical duty to let authorities know about dangerous doctors.” State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) said he would join Lieu in making the request of Purdue. DeSaulnier said he has been asking the company for years to help fund California’s prescription drug monitoring system, known has CURES, but hasn’t had much success. He said the cynical view of some pharmaceutical firms is that they don’t want to help with prescription drug abuse because they profit from the problem. Purdue has sold more than $27 billion worth of OxyContin since its introduction in 1996. “I would like to think that these big companies have more of an ethical backbone than that,” DeSaulnier said. For Purdue, he said, sharing information on California doctors is “an easy chance for them to actually help with the problem.” Sharon Levine, president of the Medical Board of California, said she was pleased by the senators’ request and hoped that Purdue would comply.
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