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Propofol Manufacturer in MJ Case in the Dark

8/13/2009 6:01 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Michael Jackson PropofolWe just got off the phone with Hospira Inc., one of the Propofol manufacturers mentioned in the Las Vegas warrant used to search a pharmacy connected to Dr. Conrad Murray.

It appears law enforcement believes Hospira manufactured one of the bottles of Propofol found in Michael Jackson's home after he died.

A rep from Hospira tells us "Hospira is one of a number of companies that currently produce Propofol. Hospira has no information regarding the manufacturer of the alleged bottles of Diprivan/Propofol at Michael Jackson's home. Any licensed health care provider could purchase drugs from many sources, including wholesalers and other distribution channels."

Translation ... they won't say if law enforcement has contacted the company -- though we know the DEA has already contacted the manufacturers of the Propofol lots found in Jackson's home.

The company also appears to be saying ... once it leaves their facility, they have no idea where it goes.


28 COMMENTS

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1.

Della    

And just what did you expect them to say?

1843 days ago
2.

Michelle    

Of course they are saying that!
Michael I miss you so much:-(

1843 days ago
3.

MJ WAS A JUNKIE    

Michael Jackson was adrug addict

1843 days ago
4.

ABB    

Why investigate the company that made the drug? Investigate the shady doctor.

1843 days ago
5.

Simone    

I think that could be difficult for the company take care of every bottle of medicine they make. I don't know what to think about it.

1843 days ago
6.

MJ WAS A JUNKIE    

The anesthetic Propofol, suspected in Michael Jackson’s death, has experienced a surge in abusers. Gerald Posner reports on a highly potent drug that’s largely unregulated.

Talking heads on TV universally express shock, in the aftermath of Michael Jackson's death, that anyone would abuse the powerful anesthetic Propofol outside of a hospital surgical setting. Subsequent to Jackson’s apparent overdose, only two instances have emerged of lay people addicted to Propofol. A 21-year-old American bought it on eBay and killed himself while administering it through an IV drip. A 25-year-old German became addicted through a supply he obtained from a local veterinarian clinic.

There is some evidence that Propofol is so strong that just the fumes from the patient’s mouth lead to a secondhand exposure.
But the largely untold story of Propofol addiction is that of the steadily increasing numbers of abusers among medical professionals, primarily anesthesiologists and the nurses who work with it. The Talbott Recovery Campus, in Atlanta, is the world’s largest and oldest treatment center for addicted medical professionals. In 2006, the center had 8 cases of Propofol abuse, 12 in 2007, and 27 in 2008. The numbers are small compared to problems with other prescription pills, especially with anesthesiologists who historically have one of the highest addiction rates among doctors. But the trend is moving in a worrisome direction for those who study it.

“In 2006, it was a phenomenon,” says Dr. Paul Earley, “but now it’s grown to the point where a year ago we instituted on our regular questionnaire whether there had ever been any Propofol abuse.”

Michael Jackson traveled with an anesthesiologist during his mid-1990s tour. It’s not yet known if he was then being administered the white milky substance that had been introduced in 1986. It was only in 1992 that the first human addiction case was recorded, a 31-year-old anesthesiologist who had begun injecting himself up to 100 times daily “to reduce his feelings of boredom, inner tension, and depression.” His addiction was only uncovered when he was found unconscious on the hospital’s bathroom floor one evening.

“There is a very narrow window between getting high, going unconscious, and dying, when it comes to Propofol,” says Dr. Earley. “Only a few cc's more than what's required to put a person to sleep can trigger fatal respiratory arrest. We see impaired professionals who have contusions on their face or body. That’s because they fell unconscious at a desk and hit their face, or literally fell out of a chair. And as you develop a tolerance to the drug, you need more to get high, and that brings someone close to the lethal level.”

Paul Wischmeyer, a University of Colorado anesthesiologist and one of the leading experts on Propofol addiction, became interested in the problem in when he learned that some colleagues were giving themselves minute injections of Propofol, producing a mellow, somewhat spacey high, that lasts only a few minutes. But even that high makes it impossible to function. “It’s not a subtle drug,” says Dr. Earley. "It's not like opiate narcotics, where you can be slightly inebriated on the drug and show up for work. Most of the time on propofol, you inject it and pass out.”

Three years ago, Wischmeyer began the first formal study of Propofol addiction in the medical community, “A Survey of Propofol Abuse in Academic Anesthesia Programs.” One hundred and twenty six anesthesia departments across the U.S. participated. Twenty percent admitted having encountered an addiction problem among staff. Although the numbers were small—25 abusers—Wischmeyer calculated a fivefold increase in Propofol abuse over the past decade. Nearly 40 percent of residents who abused Propofol ended up dead. Others, when confronted, left the medical field instead of staying in a line of work that put them in regular contact with such a powerful addictive substance.

There is some evidence that Propofol is so strong that just the fumes from concentrations around the patient’s mouth during a surgical procedure, where anesthesiologists spend many hours, lead to a secondhand exposure to “aerosolized Propofol,” which can create an increased risk of full-time abuse in susceptible persons. Another part of the problem, according to Wischmeyer, is that despite the evidence of its strong addictive potential, Propofol remains mostly unregulated. The FDA does not consider it a controlled substance, and surprisingly, there are no laws requiring the drug to be registered or accounted for at hospitals or medical clinics. Traditional pharmacy rules do not apply to it. Wischmeyer discovered that 71 percent of the medical facilities he polled did nothing to regulate Propofol. As opposed to the more h

1843 days ago
7.

Xtian    

Good to see TMZ is back at the Micheal Stuff!

1843 days ago
8.

PA WOMANIZER    

Does PROPOFOL come in varying strengths? Could it be human error? Looks like the bottle in the picture reads 200mg per 20 cc (ml)..... Injectable bottles. Happy for the tour but I now I regret it....the price was too high!

1843 days ago
9.

Kakyjasper    

Does anyone still believes that Michael Jackson is a good role model for kids. Sure he was talented, sure he was a great performer, but let us stop mince words and say out boldly. He according to reports was a drug addict and was "wacko" in every sense of the word. Make no excuses for him. He had a free will to choose how he would live his life and he chose "wackooness" R.I.P "Wackoo Jackoo"

1843 days ago
10.

Saucenuts    

God! my penis hurts!

1843 days ago
11.

lily    

this is not the manufacturers fault it's the STUPID doctors that got hold of it and gave it michael

1843 days ago
12.

lily    

i don't believe michael jackson was a drug addict

1843 days ago
13.

OhWell    

Wacko-Jacko Wacko-Jacko Wacko-Jacko Wacko-Jacko Wacko-Jacko Wacko-Jacko

1843 days ago
14.

Realist    

Oi Gevald! ...and the moon is only 48% of full !

1843 days ago
15.

what    

Grasshopper thanks for the article. Interesting reading. I guess now that control will tighten on Diprivan we will see the extent of addicts effected by it. because their sources will dry up.

1843 days ago
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