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Resource ID: #21123
Subject: Pharmaceuticals
Source: Herald-Leader (Lexington, Ky.)
Date: 2024-04-19



The stories demonstrated that Eastern Kentucky led the nation in the distribution of prescription narcotics-much of it illegal. Reporters found a series of unlikely accomplices to the illegal trafficing including the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. Local cops were corrupt or compromised and a $30 million federal enforcement effort was rendered ineffective by a lack of cooperation among the police agencies involved. The reports found an elected judge who admitted that he'd had private business dealings with rug dealers and was unilaterally lowering drug offenders' sentences set by plea bargains. The reporters also found that effecive drug treatment was hard to find in rural areas of Kentucky. The newspaper also produced an examination of how OxyContin was marketed through "detailing," the practice of sending sales men directly into doctor's offices. The reporting also took readers inside one local drug ring. Finally, the newspaper examined how public Medicaid payments were providing some rural Kentucy drug dealsers with millions of silent partners-U.S. taxpayers- who were helping to ensure their supply.

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