DeGette Demands Answers From Drug Manufacturers on Role in Opioid Crisis
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, joined a bipartisan group of fellow Energy and Commerce Committee leaders in sending letters yesterday to three opioid manufacturers requesting detailed information about each manufacturer’s role in the opioid crisis. The individual letters highlight the complexity of the opioid crisis, which claims the lives of more than 115 Americans every day.
The letters were sent to:
- Mr. Saeed Motahari, President and CEO, Insys Therapeutics, Inc.
- Mr. Mark Trudeau, President and CEO, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals
- Dr. Craig Landau, President and CEO, Purdue Pharma L.P.
The letters were also signed by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Gregg Harper (R-MS), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Vice Chairman Morgan Griffith (R-VA), and Energy and Commerce Committee Vice Ranking Member Kathy Castor (D-FL).
In all three letters, DeGette and lawmakers write, “For more than a year, the Committee has been investigating potential breakdowns in the controlled substances supply chain which may have contributed to the nation’s opioid epidemic. Pharmaceutical manufacturers play a unique and critical role in this supply chain by researching and developing products for the consumer market as well as marketing such products after obtaining approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).”
The letters to each manufacturer request similar information and documents, as well as requests that are unique to each manufacturer.
In the letter to Insys, the leaders pose questions about an alleged kickback scheme designed to boost sales of Subsys, a sublingual fentanyl spray.
In the letter to Mallinckrodt, the leaders pose questions about the company’s efforts to monitor its opioid sales for suspicious orders.
In the letter to Purdue Pharma, the leaders pose questions about when the company first knew about the dangers of OxyContin, which was approved by the FDA in 1995 and available for use the following year.
For more information regarding the Committee’s bipartisan investigation into pill dumping, including a complete timeline, click here.
Click here to read the letters.