Senate sits on opioid investigation report

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The Senate Finance Committee has buried an investigative report on financial ties between drug manufacturers and medical organizations that were setting guidelines for opioid use.

In 2012, the chair and ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), launched an investigation into financial ties between drug manufacturers and medical organizations that were setting guidelines for opioid use. When the investigation began, the federal government had already reported that opioid overdoses were killing more people each year than car accidents. Many staffers working for Baucus considered his home state of Montana to be ground zero for the epidemic of opioid addiction.

The committee focused on the American Pain Foundation, the Center for Practical Bioethics, and five other organizations. It also targeted three leading opioid makers: Purdue Pharma (OxyContin), Endo Pharmaceuticals (Percocet), and Johnson & Johnson (Duragesic). The committee demanded to see documents and get answers to its questions.

Over the course of many months, congressional investigators collected and analyzed a mountain of material. These documents, and the report that was drafted from them almost a year later, have never seen the light of day. Instead, they remain sealed in the Senate Finance Committee’s office.

The work is done. Why would they not release it? Read the rest here. Then, contact your senator.

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