Sen. McCaskill expands opioid investigation

Senator Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., on Thursday expanded her investigation into the causes of the nation's ongoing opioid epidemic by involving four additional drugmakers and three more drug distributors.

The senator requested internal documentation from McKesson Corp., AmerisourceBergen Corp., Cardinal Health, Mallinckrodt, Endo, Teva and Allergan that can confirm whether companies made diligent efforts to monitor, report and investigate the diversion of opioids for illicit use.

"We've seen numerous reports that potentially hundreds of millions of opioid pills wound up on the black market, fueling a nationwide epidemic — we need a better understanding of how committed these companies are to preventing this type of drug diversion or whether they are turning a blind eye," said Ms. McCaskill in an emailed release. "The people of Missouri and the countless families affected by this epidemic across the country deserve to find out everything possible about the root causes of this crisis."

In March, Ms. McCaskill, a ranking member on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, requested materials from five leading opioid manufacturers: Purdue Pharma, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Insys, Depomed and Mylan. The requested documents included internal studies on the possible risk of addiction related to opioids, marketing and business strategies and contributions made to third party groups that may have hindered efforts to strengthen opioid regulations.

To learn more about Ms. McCaskill's investigation, click here.

More articles on opioids: 
Blue Shield of California members' opioid use falls 32% during narcotic safety program 
Missouri governor defends PDMP despite lack of physician access 
Gov. Christie signs package of bills to address New Jersey's opioid crisis

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