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Pam Bondi and 22 AGs to Urban Outfitters: stop 'undermining' war on RX abuse

@MarcACaputo

UrbanFlorida Attorney General Pam Bondi and 22 other attorneys general accused Urban Outfitters on Wednesday of "undermining" nationwide efforts to fight pharmaceutical-drug abuse because the store sells a line of drinking novelties that mimic prescription-pill bottles, boxes, pads and syringes.

"These products are not in any way fun or humorous but make light of this rampant problem," the group wrote in a letter addressed to the company's CEO and chairman, Richard A. Hayne. "We invite you to pull these products from your shelves and join with us to fight prescription drug abuse."

Hayne and Urban Outfitter's media-relations department did not immediately respond to an email for comment. A customer-service representative said the store's media-relations department does not have a phone number.

Earlier this month, the company didn't respond to ABC News and FOX when they reported complaints from the Partnership at Drugfree.org, which accused the retailer of making light of drug abuse. So did lawmakers in Kentucky.

The store, known for selling edgy products from time to time, has an entire "Prescription Line" of drinking accoutrements that look like prescription-pill bottles, boxes and pads. It sells “Rx pint glasses” and “syringe shot shooters.” 

A beer koozie, for instance, looks like a pill bottle prescribed by "Dr. Harold Feelgood" to "Mr. Hugh Jass."

"TAKE ONE CAN BY MOUTH, REPEAT UNTIL INTOXICATED," the bottle reads. Another item, a flask that looks like the mock prescription "BOOZEMIN," bears the name of "Dr. Koholic, Al."

Bondi, in a brief discussion with The Miami Herald, underscored the fact that neither she or her colleagues are threatening legal action against the Philadelphia-based chain. They just believe the so-called "Prescription Line" of glasses, coasters, mugs and drink holders goes too far.

"It's in poor taste," Bondi said.

> "Profiting from an ad campaign that is contrary to Florida's efforts to combat prescription drug overdoses and drinking is unacceptable," she said in a follow-up statement. "We are calling on Urban Outfitters to forgo a few sales and help us save a lot of lives."

Since winning office in 2010, Bondi has crusaded against prescription-drug abuse. She championed legislation to fight so-called "pill mills" where shady doctors overprescribe drugs -- particularly opiates such as OxyContin.

The effort to ask Urban Outfitters to remove its "Prescription Line" of goods spans the nation and the political spectrum, from the Republican Bondi in Florida to Democrat Kamala Harris in California to the attorneys general in Guam and Hawaii.

"We are actively engaged in a campaign of environmental change to educate the public that abuse of prescription drugs is not safe simply because the medication originated from a doctor," their letter said.

"By putting these highly recognizable labels on your products you are undermining our efforts."

Here's the letter's text:

Dear Mr. Hayne

On behalf of the undersigned Attorneys General, we request that Urban Outfitters immediately cease sales of your “Prescription Line” of glasses, coasters, mugs, drink holders and related products that mimic prescription pill bottles and prescription pads.

As you may be aware, there is a national health crisis related to the abuse and diversion of prescription drugs. As Attorneys General, we have prosecuted and engaged in outreach to stop this epidemic. We are actively engaged in a campaign of environmental change to educate the public that abuse of prescription drugs is not safe simply because the medication originated from a doctor. By putting these highly recognizable labels on your products you are undermining our efforts. These products demean the thousands of deaths that occur each month in the United States from accidental overdoses.

These products are not in any way fun or humorous but make light of this rampant problem. We invite you to pull these products from your shelves and join with us to fight prescription drug abuse.

Very respectfully yours,

Mike DeWine, Ohio Attorney General

Jack Conway, Kentucky Attorney General

Tom Horne Arizona, Attorney General

Dustin McDaniel, Arkansas Attorney General

Kamala Harris, California Attorney General

John Suthers, Colorado Attorney General

Pamela Jo Bondi, Florida Attorney General

Lenny Rapadas, Guam Attorney General

David Louie, Hawaii Attorney General

Lisa Madigan, Illinois Attorney General

Tom Miller, Iowa Attorney General

Janet Mills, Maine Attorney General

Douglas F. Gansler, Maryland Attorney General

Martha Coakley Massachusetts Attorney General

Bill Schuette, Michigan Attorney General

Jim Hood Mississippi, Attorney General

Tim Fox, Montana Attorney General

Gary King, New Mexico Attorney General

Ellen F. Rosenblum, Oregon Attorney General

Kathleen Kane, Pennsylvania Attorney General

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Tennessee Attorney General

John E. Swallow Utah Attorney General

Gregory A. Phillips Wyoming Attorney General

 

Comments

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Tally Folly

Pam Bondi is the worse excuse for an AG Florida has ever seen. Wasting taxpayer dollars to fight against initiatives they actually want, and then on silly things like this. Good thing you are cute Pam, you will need it when you are out of a job for wasting space the last 4 years.

Tammy True

Tally Folly: You may think this is a waste of money, but are you at all involved with a friend/family member or perhaps yourself, since this is such an ignorant post, drug abuse? If so, you would know that this is not a "silly thing" to fight. The life saved by joint coordination of states just might be someone you love.

jonathan

Tammy True you are ridiculous, drama queen. Going after a clothing company?

whasup

Dear Attorney's General,

Perhaps you haven't noticed that the whole nation is on prescription drugs, courtesy of our white-coated drug dealers masquerading as doctors, who serve as the sales force for the big pharmaceutical companies.

And thanks to them all, the nation's finances have gone to pot (well, not literally, entirely) with those absurd prices paid by big government insurance programs and private insurers, because the druggie doesn't have to pay full prescription price.

Those without insurance can only self-medicate, and many use alcohol in lieu of a scrip tranquilizer. So why don't you do something about the stupid in our health care-industrial complex. Meanwhile, quit majoring on the minors and appreciate the well-aimed sarcasm of these "prescription line" baubles.

Sincerely ... up yours.

Ed Jenkins

Go get em Pam! You are doing a great job and will be a great governor some day. Next up should be those clothing companies that portray marijuana and other illegal drugs in a positive light. Unfortunately a lot of young people are unaware of abusing these drugs will destroy their lives.

Law&Order
Aaron Buhda Wilson

Of all the crazy things they have to worry about they choose something like this. This is as bad as guns kill people honestly. People kill people and kill themselves let them OD dont save them honestly I do believe that would fix part of society! I hate weed but I have seen how many people it has helped get off white coat drugs and function in society now so legalize it get rid of cigarettes and Obama and things will work out to the good for everyone in the world.

Sonny Crockett

THESE NOVELTIES, ALTHOUGH SOMEWHAT TASTELESS, ARE NOT THE GATEWAY OR ANY REAL THREAT TO DRUG ABUSE. SO, WHY SPEND ANY TIME AND MONEY ON THIS ISSUE? VA FUNGULE AG!

Cathy Grippi

I sure would appreciate AG Bondi if she were to work on protecting us all from pollutants that are involuntarily ‘consumed’ by the unsuspecting citizenry. Specifically the EMR’s emitted by the recently installed SMART/digital meters that are being touted as energy saving devices – but actually make us sick…some immediately and while others will succumb over time without knowing why they are sick.
Also, the CHEMTRAILS that are being sprayed on us nearly every day that include aluminum and other partials that will and are causing an increase in neurodegenerative diseases.
I encourage each reader to do their own research!

Ginagail

Tally Folly, you are such an idiot with absolutely no clue about anything. You really should save your stupid comments for another blog website - this one is for intelligent people and you're not one of them.

Ginagail

Sonny Crockett....you have no clue either. Urban Outfitters novelty items are SOMEWHAT tasteless? You just don't get it. What an idiot! But then again, you probably shop at the dirtbag store.

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