Red Ink, Wiretaps, And Death Threats

Kenneth I. Sawyer's trip into the underworld of the generic-drug industry began with a phone call from Perry Levine in August, 1989. Sawyer was on a rare vacation with his family in Kennebunkport, Me., when Levine, the head of a generic-drug maker named Par Pharmaceutical Inc., called to request Sawyer's legal counsel. Par had been a highflier in the hot generics business but was now embroiled in an industrywide scandal involving charges ranging from bribing Food & Drug Administration officials to falsifying test reports. A House Energy & Commerce oversight and investigations subcommittee was preparing legislation that could shut down Par, and Levine needed help with state and federal regulators.

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