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Pam Bondi urges Urban Outfitters to stop selling prescription look-alike products

4:02 PM, May 23, 2013   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is not happy with a company that makes coasters, mugs and drink holders that look like prescription pill bottles.

She's joining 22 other attorneys general around the country to call on Urban Outfitters to remove those products from store shelves.

One example is shown above. The company sells an insulated beer can holder that looks like a prescription bottle. It reads, "Take one can by mouth, repeat until intoxicated. Liquid happiness 12oz."

There's also a shot glass version with a prescription number that reads: "VRY-NBR8TD."

Bondi and her colleagues believe the products are inappropriate, not only because they celebrate getting drunk, but also because prescription drug abuse is a serious problem killing people.

Florida Attorney General's office spokesman John Lucas says placing these labels on merchandise undermines efforts to fight prescription drug abuse.

"When the attorney general first took office a little over two years ago, there were approximately seven people dying each day in Florida as a result of prescription drug abuse. Since then, we started to see the numbers drop and Attorney General Bondi believes this line of products is counterproductive and sends the wrong message to young people, not just about prescription drugs but also drinking."

Bondi and her colleagues sent a letter to Urban Outfitters CEO and Chairman Richard Hayne saying the products are not fun, but make light of a rampant problem.

They accuse the company of demeaning thousands of deaths every month across the country from accidental overdoses.

Lucas said Bondi is calling on the company to be responsible.

"Attorney General Bondi understands that Urban Outfitters can market whatever products it wishes to but she wants them to rethink their decision on this line of products. Be responsible and perhaps pull those products from the shelves. She's urging them to forgo some sales and potentially save a lot of lives."

Urban Outfitters did not respond to our inquiries asking for a response.

LETTER TO URBAN OUTFITTERS:

Urban Outfitters, Inc.
Attn: Richard A. Hayne; CEO & Chairman
5000 South Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19112-1495
richard.hayne@urbanout.com

Via Fax and Email

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.

Gannett

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