'Drug companies spent nearly $10 million promoting opioid drug use to patient advocacy groups and other nonprofit organisations between 2012 and 2017. More than 42,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses in 2016.
Physicians affiliated with patient advocacy groups accepted more than $1.6 million in payments from five manufacturers between 2013 and 2018, according to a new report released Monday by a Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), top Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
The report exposes financial connections between opioid manufacturers and advocacy groups, and points to close alignment between “medical culture and industry goals,” regarding narcotic painkiller distribution.
“The fact that these same manufacturers provided millions of dollars to the groups described below suggests, at the very least, a direct link between corporate donations and the advancement of opioids-friendly messaging”, the report states.
The report centres on the expenditure of five drug companies: Purdue Pharma L.P., Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Mylan N.V., Depomed, Inc. and Insys Therapeutics, Inc., as well as 14 patient advocacy groups "working on chronic pain and other opioid-related issues."
Purdue Pharma, a manufacturer of the leading drug OxyContin, made the largest donations, with $4.15 million given to 12 groups.
“We have restructured and significantly reduced our commercial operation and our sales representatives will no longer promote opioids to prescribers,” said Purdue Pharma L.P in a statement issued on Tuesday, a day after the release of the report.'
Read more: Big Pharma spent $10million promoting opioid drug use to patients
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