HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html U.S. Doctors Held Over Drugs Racket
Pubdate: Fri, 09 Feb 2001
Source: Irish Independent (Ireland)
Copyright: Independent Newspapers (Ireland) Ltd
Author: Andrew Gumbel
Bookmark: (Oxycontin)


U.S. police and drug enforcement officials said yesterday they had
uncovered a narcotics racket following the arrest of more than 200
people, including doctors and nurses, involved in the illegal
distribution of a powerful painkiller intended for cancer patients.

The arrests followed months of painstaking undercover work in eastern
Kentucky to combat the spread of OxyContin, a drug based on synthetic
morphine, which produces effects similar to heroin.

At least 59 people are believed to have died in the area around
Lexington as a result of OxyContin overdoses, and the drug is being
peddled with increasing frequency in the US. Most of those arrested
were street dealers offering Oxy, as it is known, at between $25 and
$50 per pill. 
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