An FDA workshop on opioids is going ahead today despite concerns from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) that some panelists at the conference on pain management are too closely tied to the opioid industry.
In a letter to HHS Secretary Tom Price, Wyden called for the cancellation of a FDA workshop on training for opioids prescribers until the agency conducts a full conflict-of-interest review of all proposed participants.
Numerous pain advocacy groups—such as Project Lazarus, American Chronic Pain Association and National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Foundation, all of which have representatives slated to speak at the Silver Spring, Md. conference—have deep financial ties to the opioid industry, Wyden wrote, making them part of the problem rather than the solution to the country’s pain medication abuse epidemic.
The pain groups receive money from the companies through advertising, grants and other forms of sponsorship and “have worked, oftentimes in concert with other industry-funded groups, to steer state and federal policy toward favoring opioids as a treatment for pain,” Wyden said.