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Mr. BENSINGER. That's correct.

Mrs. COLLINS. Now, Joe has pointed out that it seems that there is little that DEA can do about identifying and controlling a drug for potential abuse until such abuses begin to appear in large numbers of


Were you informed when Talwin first hit the consumer market of its potential for abuse?

Mr. BENSINGER. DEA was informed back in 1974, was concerned about Talwin and its potential for abuse then, learned from HEW in 1976.

They didn't concur with our concern. We went back and got additional information and evidence. In December and in January, formal submissions were prepared. And HEW was then again requested on the second of February of 1978 to schedule the drug and to control it.

Mrs. COLLINS. Do you as members of DEA receive any kind of prior knowledge or fact sheet or detailed description of new drugs that are coming on the market?

Mr. BENSINGER. Mr. Howard McClain.

Mr. McClain. We meet regularly with FDA officials, and we generally know when a drug is coming through the New Drug Application stage. And we do discuss the potential for abuse of these drugs.

Mrs. COLLINS. But they don't listen to you until something has happened, evidently.

Mr. McCLAIN. But they listen to us.

Mrs. COLLINS. They don't do anything about it, put any restrictions on it or reclassify it?

Mr. McCLAIN. When it is a new drug and hasn't been out on the street, they make the recommendation it be controlled.

Mrs. COLLINS. You recommend to them, but they don't take your recommendation; is that right?

Mr. MCCLAIN. We recommend drugs that are already out on the market where there is evidence of abuse. When it is a new drug coming through the process and has not been marketed, and then there is no evidence of actual abuse, then they will make the recommendation.

Mrs. COLLINS. What if a new drug is identical as an opiate, for example?

Mr. BENSINGER. We are thinking exactly alike Congresswoman Collins. My question to Mr. McClain would be: If you had a drug that was going to be introduced that had identical properties to drugs that we know are being abused and we had this discussion just last night in preparation for the hearing, I might add, our feeling, I believe, was that we felt that it should be controlled.


Mr. RAILSBACK. Could I just pursue this along the same lines? You know, what bothers me about this is that we may not be talking about an individual substance and the potential for drug abuse that it may have. It may be something worse than that.

What should be done and based on our Talwin experience, is for the FDA to decide whether to license or permit. To control or not to control should not just be based on the individual properties of one substance; but, ought to be based on the testing of that substance in use with another one.

In other words, Bristol Laboratories has an analgesic that is going to be very similar to Talwin. I think it is called Stadol. Stadol,

if combined with Pyribenzamine, may have exactly the same consequences as Talwin.

So what I would ask the FDA is: Why don't we conduct testing to see what the harmful effects would be in conjunction with, say, an antihistamine?

Would you care to comment on that? And let me ask you this, too: Have we any other nonnarcotic analgesic showing up other than just Talwin? In other words, do you know of any other instances of drug abuse related to nonscheduled substances that are also causing abuse?

Mr. BENSINGER. I indicated Larry Snyder who is our compliance supervisor for the central part of the United States could comment on that.

I don't know, Larry, if you have found that to be the case.

Mr. RAILSBACK. What I am really asking is two things. A number of doctors are now telling us that, or warning us that, some substances when combined with another substance may cause great harm. It may be something like Librium used with alcohol, or it may be Talwin used with a Pyribenzamine, or it may be Stadol used with Pyribenzamine.

What is the FDA doing, if anything, to test for that potential? In other words, that is a real potential hazard.

Mr. BENSINGER. I would comment on that. I think we are stretching. I think it is a serious question. I don't feel comfortable in answering it because it really is an FDA issue and a medical issue, such as, how do you combine these different chemicals, which is what you are really talking about.

Mr. RAILSBACK. That's what I am asking about. Are there other instances of drug abuse in combination?

Mr. BENSINGER. We know drug abuse in combination with alcohol, for instance, causes serious problems. Drug abuse, various pills combined with others causes serious problems.

Whether I could speak and hypothetically put myself in the position of the medical community and say, “Look, before we authorize a drug to be available, we have got to test it with 20 other different substances, I'm not sure practically we could effectively do that.

I don't know, Howard, if you in your discussions with the FDA people could speculate on their attitude.

Mr. McČLAIN. No.

Mr. RAILSBACK. Could I just interject and say it seems to me in a case like Stadol which apparently is very similar to Talwin, before they just arbitrarily license a particular drug with similar properties to Talwin, they should check for potential drug abuse with Pyribenzamine to see if it should be controlled.

Mr. McClain. My understanding is that Stadol which is generically called butofinol is very similar to Talwin. And that product was discussed at the FDA Advisory Committee this year. And I believe the FDA Advisory Committee recommended that it be put in the same schedule as Talwin.

Mr. BENSINGER. Is there one other drug, too!

Mr. McClain. Yes, sir, they also recommended another drug called Nalbuthan, that it be put in schedule IV along with Talwin.

These drugs, at the time they were discussed, were not marketed. These were cases that I was referring to earlier where they are coming through the new drug application stage. And they would not have been out on the streets. So we would have no evidence of their actual abuse. But apparently, they thought the potential of these drugs' abuse was similar.

Mr. BENSINGER. The FDA did recognize that according to what Mr. McClain is indicating, and that was encouraging to me.

Now, HEW, I'm not sure has in fact recommended that for scheduling:

Mr. MCCLAIN. No, they have not recommended scheduling yet.
Mr. MURPHY. Mrs. Collins ?

Mrs. COLLINS. Mr. Bensinger, one last question. With regard to the channel of distribution, I believe you

mentioned in


statement-or I

got the impression—that the usual channel of distribution is not being used for this drug. Is there any likelihood that the usual channel of distribution, say, for heroin will become the avenue for Talwin?

Mr. BENSINGER. I think there is a likelihood that distributing organizations of heroin will turn to Talwin to make money. They won't get the heroin the same way. They will have a different source of supply.

It is an American domestic problem as you correctly identified in your opening comments and not an imported narcotic from overseas. But the drug traffickers have a great capacity to switch from drugs and to look after the big bucks. And that is why I would feel that there would be that likelihood that people will begin. The street sellers of heroin will turn to Talwin to sell it.

Mrs. COLLINS. Senator Daley in his testimony said that he thought more restrictions and more severe penalties should be placed by FĎA on this drug. I think that during your testimony you talked about middlemen who were getting this stuff from manufacturers.

Why can't you just tell the manufacturers they can only manufacture so much of it, and that's all? Can you do that kind of limiting?

Mr. BENSINGER. If a drug is a schedule II drug, then we can set a quota. And it may well be that that is in the last analysis the only way to go. I think many of the legitimate firms, however, pharmacies, wholesale drug distributors, and the manufacturers, don't want their pharmaceutical products to be misused.

And I wouldn't want my testimony to be construed like that.

Mr. MURPHY. Do you see any evidence now of criminal elements, organized crime, moving in on the use and abuse of drugs such as Talwin?

Mr. BENSINGER. I see evidence that organizations, networks, have focused on Talwin as an opportunity to exploit addiction and make a lot of money.

And when I noted that one group had a wholesale purchase of $133,000 worth of tablets at 6 cents a tablet, it really represented perhaps 2 million dosage units, you are talking about in my opinion a pretty sophisticated criminal organization.

That same unit was visited by members of the Gang Crimes Unit who will testify later today. They will tell you that there were stolen goods, $70,000 in cash, large quantities of pills, at the residence when it was visited by the police department.

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And this indicates to me when you have got that amount of cash, that amount of pills, some stolen goods, that this is not someone who is just engaged in a couple of sales of pills. It is a criminal operation of significant magnitude.

So I think the answer is yes.
Mr. MURPHY. I want to thank the gentleman and his staff.
Are there any further questions?
[No response.]

Mr. MURPHY. Thank you very much, Mr. Director. We certainly appreciate your testimony here today as you have on many occasions and again commend you and your men, your Drug Enforcement Unit and Don Meyer locally here, Šuperintendent Murphy, for the wonderful job that was demonstrated here today. And for all your staff; we appreciate your attendance. Mr. BENSINGER. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. MURPHY. Our next witness will be Peter Karl, investigative reporter, WLS-TV, Chicago. Mr. Karl, will you stand and raise your right hand please? [The witness was sworn by Mr. Murphy.]

Mr. MURPHY. Mr. Karl, before we begin your testimony here today, on behalf of the committee, I would like to first congratulate you on what in my estimation is one of the finest jobs of investigative reportnig that it has been my pleasure to witness.

I have viewed your program a couple of times on television. I want to say that you represent and your station represents the best in journalism, especially in light of today when everybody is criticizing TV and the press.

If the Congress had an award to give, I'm sure we would have it with us today to give you. We could give it to you today for the fine job that you did in bringing this to this committee's attention and the Congress attention, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Federal Food and Drug Administration.

There would be no doubt in my mind that you would receive that award. And on behalf of the committee, I want to congratulate you.




Mr. Karl. Thank you. It is a pleasure to be here. And I welcome the opportunity to address the committee.

My statement is going to be very brief, and we will show portions of the documentary itself

which I think speaks for itself. I would just like to say that how it all started was on December 16, I received a phone call that ended up lasting about 21/2 hours from a prostitute who was in a hospital being treated as a result of her taking this, at least to me, unknown drug combination known as T's and and Blue's.

As we talked, she told me this incredible story of this substitute known as Talwin and Pyribenzamine. She told us that it produced a high similar to that of heroin. She told me there were a lot of heroin users using this drug as a substitute because of the poor quality of heroin on the street.

I followed up on several leads that she gave us, including the medical clinic that was passing out T's and Blue's literally like M&M's, like candy, which you will see on our documentary.

At this point, I contacted the Better Government Association because of their prior investigations into medicaid fraud. They then aided me in subsequent discovery of the Mohawk Medical Clinic's distribution of T's and Blue's. We spent a lot of time on the streets, talking with junkies and in 'hospitals with doctors and with drug enforcement officials and found that the problem in Chicago had reached epidemic proportions.

I cannot speak for other cities, but in Chicago, the problem is extremely bad. We witnessed open dealing in the streets. And before the State took the unprecedented action of classifying Talwin as a schedule II drug, police agents literally had their hands tied with the inability to do anything about it.

The documentary I will now show you is a composite of 7 months investigation on this topic and the result of firsthand witnessing on what is going on with T's and Blue's in Chicago,

After we see the documentary, if you have any questions, I will be glad to answer them. Thank you.

Mr. MURPHY. Thank you, Mr. Karl.
At this time, anybody who wants to view it, you can see it here.
[Whereupon, a TV documentary was shown.]

Mr. MURPHY. Well, again, Mr. Karl, on behalf of the committee and someone who cares along with others in this room,

I would like to commend you. And I wish there was some award Congress would give investigative reporters such as you for the fine job you did.

I know both my colleagues and I know Mr. Railsback would like to say a word on that score.

Mr. RAILSBACK. I am not going to repeat everything that has already been said except to echo what the chairman has said. And I might echo it was really because of your work, Morgan Murphy kind of took the leadership, and he did take the leadership, in trying to call attention to the problem in Chicago and elsewhere.

And I think it is also to the credit of your station that they were able to give so much time to really advise the public and inform the pu I think it has been a very, very important thing. Mr. KARL. Our station took an editorial stance on some of the


you have raised today, about testing procedures and asking that question I think Mr. Nellis asked of Mr. Bensinger. He said: "How many people had to get sick, die, or become maimed in order to track this type of abuse ?"

I would just like to re-emphasize that that editorial stance that our station took is in agreement with what you asked, Mr. Nellis.

Mr. MURPHY. Chief Counsel Nellis. Mr. NELLIS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Karl, I, too, want to commend you for an excellent job. I would like to ask you one question. As you went through the streets and talked to the various users, did you find any reluctance on their part to tell you that Talwin was used either as a substitute for heroin or in conjunction with heroin? Did they tell you that the heroin was of such low grade that they had to look for some other way of avoiding withdrawal ?

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