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DRUG DIVERSION HEARING SEPT. 19 TO HEAR TESTIMONY FROM TWO FELONS

Executive Summary

DRUG DIVERSION HEARING SEPT. 19 TO HEAR TESTIMONY FROM TWO FELONS from the Atlanta investigation, one who was convicted and another who pled guilty. The witnesses will testify before the House Commerce/Oversight Subcmte., which said it will also hear testimony from a New Jersey private investigator who has probed the internatl. drug diversion market. In August the Justice Dept. announced that it charged 43 individuals and three corporations -- - Cooperative Purchasing Consultants, General Generics, and Pharmacy Resources -- with violations of federal fraud and conspiracy laws, with drug alteration and misbranding, and with interstate transportation of pharmaceuticals obtained by fraud. Individuals who faced charges included Bindley Western VPs Stephen Asher and W. Michael Gemmill and retired Lawrence Pharmaceuticals VP W. Edward Barnhill. The Justice Dept. announcement culminated a two-year nationwide FBI investigation ("The Pink Sheet" Aug. 12, p. 4). The Sept. 19 hearing will be the third Oversight Subcmte. hearing to focus on the drug diversion issue. Fourth and fifth days of hearings to focus on pharmaceutical industry-proposed solutions to the problem are now expected to be scheduled for later this fall, probably in October and November.

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