Ex-DEA Official Now Works for OxyContin Maker

A former senior DEA official who testified on the government’s attempt to curb the opioid epidemic is now a paid advisor for Purdue Pharma.

Demetra Ashley / Image: Getty Images
Demetra Ashley / Image: Getty Images

You’ve probably heard of Purdue Pharma, the family-owned maker of OxyContin that is being sued by over 1,600 cities and countries for misrepresenting the risks of opioid use. Well according to a recent NBC News article, the company just hired a former Drug Enforcement Administration official for consulting services. Demetra Ashley spent three decades at the DEA specialized in the diversion of prescription drugs like OxyContin. Last spring, she left to start a consulting firm called Dashley Consulting, LLC.

During her time at the DEA, Ashley testified before Congress regarding the government’s efforts to fight the opioid epidemic noting the need for a “robust regulatory program” to stop the diversion of opioids and other prescription drugs. There’s no indication the consulting situation is illegal, but you can bet it’ll be a topic of discussion in Business Ethics 101 classrooms.

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