Former senior DEA official takes Purdue Pharma consulting gig

29 March 2019

Demetra Ashley, a former senior official in the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has reportedly joined the other team, taking on a consulting gig for Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of the highly addictive pain medication OxyContin – and a company staring down the barrel of hundreds of lawsuits related to the opioid epidemic in the United States. Purdue is under the microscope for its alleged involvement in marketing OxyContin, adding to the opioid crisis currently sweeping the US – an issue that has claimed thousands of lives and created countless other social and legal problems, such as addiction and illegal drug sales.

Ashley left the DEA in March and founded Dashley Consulting LLC, which her LinkedIn page refers to as “one of the nation’s leading experts on pharmaceutical regulatory compliance and investigation.”

“I have been consulting for members of the industry and I began my consulting business in June 2018 after I retired,” Ashley said in an interview with NBC News. She would neither confirm nor deny the identities of her clients. She also told the news agency “that she had been subpoenaed to be deposed in a consolidated group of approximately 1,500 complaints involving Purdue and several opioid makers, to discuss her work at the DEA to help combat the opioid crisis,” according to the daily Connecticut newspaper Stamford Advocate.

While there is no evidence that Ashley consulting for Purdue would be illegal, it is certainly unethical according to experts concerned about former federal officials working for the companies they once watched over.

Ashley’s alleged team-up with Purdue all but screams for scrutiny. In her December 2017 testimony to the Senate Judicial Committee, Ashley spoke on several DEA initiatives to take on the opioid epidemic, including methods by which the DEA could combat writing and filling of illegitimate prescriptions, many of which stem from “pill mill” doctors who essentially take cash for drug prescriptions.

Former senior DEA official takes Purdue Pharma consulting gig

“Our nation has been devastated by the opioid abuse, with more than 300,000 opioid-related deaths,” she said in her testimony. “The epidemic has created a generation of abusers, currently estimated at 12 million. While prescriptions of ‘Schedule Two’ opioids have begun to decline, making Schedule Two opioids less accessible, Mexican drug cartels have filled the void by producing cheap heroin and counterfeit pills, often mixed with fentanyl. The results are tragic.”

Craig Landau, Purdue CEO, said last week that the company was considering filing for bankruptcy – a tactical move that could help contain, or entirely prevent, its liability in the slew of litigation heading its way, which could cost the company tens of billions of dollars. “Filing for Chapter 11 protection would halt the lawsuits and allow Purdue to negotiate legal claims with plaintiffs under the supervision of a US bankruptcy judge,” sources told Reuters in early March.

The pharmacological consulting landscape is at the moment extraordinarily active regarding employment. Much of this revolves around the legalization of marijuana in the US, Canada, and possibly Europe, which has the potential to become the world’s largest leading cannabis market within five years. New companies require consultants’ help, and consultants are eager to ride the high.

Deloitte, Nielsen, and Headset, for example, have entered a “strategic alliance to provide insights to stakeholders in the Canadian cannabis sector.” These insights will allow clients to make better-informed decisions. FSD Pharma, meanwhile, hired Greg Button, Korn Ferry’s global head of healthcare recruiting, to aid the company with executive recruitment during a transitional period. FSD Pharma is seeking to transform a former Ontario Kraft plant into the largest hydroponic growth facility in the world.

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Maine Pointe promotes Mark McTigue to executive vice president

24 April 2019

Two years into his role, Maine Pointe has promoted Mark McTigue from vice president to executive vice president.

At Maine Pointe, McTigue has a specific focus on the private equity industry and has helped several of the firm’s private equity clients boost their returns on portfolio companies. “His skills and insights have proven essential in helping clients achieve unparalleled levels of competitive success,” said David Jadwin, who leads Maine Pointe’s business development activities.

McTigue joined the international supply chain and operations consultancy in early 2017, bringing more than 25 years of experience in sales and marketing, supply chain management, and consulting to the firm. Most recently, he served operations consultancy The Highland Group as a senior partner, and was EVP of business development in North America for Alexander Proudfoot – another operations specialist. 

During his more than 15 years in consulting, McTigue has worked with a variety of clients (Fortune 1000, mid-market companies, and start-ups) across multiple industries, spanning consumer packaged goods, industrial products, chemicals, food and beverage, automotive, oil and gas, financial services, high-tech, hospitality, and logistics.

McTigue specializes in helping executives and senior managers design and implement operational excellence programs across the end-to-end supply chain – allowing them to drive more than a billion dollars in sustainable EBITDA and cash improvements.

“Mark has been instrumental in driving supply chain optimization and surpassing clients’ targets for growth,” Jadwin said. “He has also played a key role in positioning Total Value Optimization [Maine Pointe’s approach for creating end-to-end shareholder value across the entire supply chain] as one of the most important business methodologies.”

Maine Pointe promotes Mark McTigue to Executive Vice PresidentMcTigue frequently publishes thought leadership pieces in high-profile business management publications, including The Innovation Enterprise, where his article "The effectiveness of operating resources in creating incremental value" examined the importance of value creation and how private equity firms have diversified their roles. In a recent article on, McTigue and Maine Pointe’s Michael Kirstein discussed the role analytics plays in helping private equity improve due diligence.

His appointment comes at a time when private equity firms are investing more than ever, though are simultaneously struggling to translate these investments into equity. “We often see a value gap between targets for cost reduction, cash flow, and growth and the actual value derived from an acquisition,”  McTigue said, referring to a study conducted by Maine Pointe last year among executives in the private equity industry.

“In my new role as executive vice president, I will continue to help our private equity clients achieve success in the face of their challenges.” 

Earlier this year, Maine Pointe in the US appointed Rex ClothierJanice Pinson and Mary Lyons to senior roles. Globally, the consultancy has offices in Asia and Europe.