Florida paper overstated oxycontin deaths

Preston Peet ptpeet at nyc.rr.com
Tue Aug 3 14:43:54 EDT 2004

This comes from Jules' newroom-l list, from a daily post called the SPJ

Fla. paper overstated OxyContin deaths

An Orlando Sentinel series in October about the drug OxyContin used a key
statistic incorrectly and overstated the number of overdoses caused solely
by oxycodone, the active ingredient in OxyContin and other prescription
painkillers. Citing data compiled by the Florida Department of Law
Enforcement, the Sentinel said oxycodone overdoses caused 573 deaths in 2001
and 2002. However, a re-examination of FDLE data and autopsy reports showed
that only about a quarter of those deaths were caused solely by oxycodone.
In roughly three out of four cases, medical examiners concluded that at
least one other drug also contributed to the victims' deaths.

Source: Orlando Sentinel

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