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Mother of overdose victim on arrest of ex-Gates drug company CEO: 'I cried with joy'

April 24, 2019 07:09 PM

GATES, N.Y. (WHEC) -- The mother of a woman who died last year from an overdose says she cried tears of joy when she watched a former drug company CEO from Gates get arrested. 

Laurence Doud is accused of selling billions of dollars worth of highly addictive pain killers to pharmacies. News10NBC wanted to know if any of those pharmacies are here so we poured through pages of court documents to find out.  

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The court documents say no. They say most of the pharmacies are independent and downstate. The one pharmacy that got named in a separate filing is on Long Island. 

Police say the kinds of drugs involved in this case fueled the overdose crisis. 

Patty Suppa lost her daughter Christina last year. 

"The epidemic was bigger than her," Suppa sid. 

Christina Farsace had two young children. Suppa says her daughter battled addiction and got hooked on pain killers after knee surgery. Farsace's picture is on a Gates Police van, showing the faces of people who died from an overdose.

News10NBC Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean: "When you saw that former CEO get walked down the street in New York City and get charged, what did you think and feel?"

Patty Suppa, daughter died from overdose: "I cried with joy. It's a step and it's a huge step in the right direction."

Doud is the former CEO of Rochester Drug Cooperative or RDC. It's the 6th largest drug distributor in the country. Doud was charged by the U.S. Attorney in New York City on Tuesday. 

In court documents, prosecutors say, despite getting warned by his own staff, Doud knowingly broke federal laws to sell huge amounts of pain killers like oxycodone and fentanyl to pharmacies that he was, again, warned were using the drugs illegally. And prosecutors say he did it just to make money. 

Doud became RDC's CEO in 1991. He was fired by RDC two years ago. 

News10NBC asked RDC to talk to us on camera. Instead, they referred to the two-page statement they released Tuesday which read in part, "We made mistakes. We accept responsibility for those mistakes. We can do better. We are doing better and we will do better. "

RDC ageed to pay a $20 million fine and as long as it runs properly for three years, the company won't get charged. The feds say Doud turned RDC into a multi-billion dollar company. 

"All the billions of dollars that man made, well give it back to Rochester New York where these families died," Suppa said, "and open up rehab centers and detox and more beds for females."

Doud is suing RDC, saying he was illegally fired and made a scape-goat for all the problems. 

The group called Gates to Recovery is holding a protest outside RDC Friday evening. They're calling it "From Greed to Grief Rally." 

On Wednesday, Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said the county added RDC to the list of drug companies it's suing for "fanning the flames of addiction."

In the past year, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office says 166 people died from an overdose. 

Credits

Berkeley Brean

Copyright 2019 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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