McCaskill Requests Documents, Sales Pitches from Five Top Opioid Manufacturers
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) has opened a congressional investigation into the top five manufacturers of opioids, saying the overdose epidemic is a “direct result” of the companies’ sales and marketing strategies over the past two decades.
The CEOs of Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, Insys, Mylan and Depomed received letters from McCaskill requesting internal estimates of possible abuse and addiction, marketing plans and slide presentations, compliance reports and quotas for sales representatives from the past five years.
McCaskill, the ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, is also seeking the amounts spent on entertaining physicians as part of sales pitches, as well as any company payments to third-party advocacy organizations, such as the American Pain Foundation, American Academy of Pain Medicine and the Federation of State Medical Boards.
In announcing the investigation, McCaskill highlighted a 1994 memo from Purdue to its sales representatives saying that higher dosages would lead to higher bonuses — as well as a 2007 case involving three Purdue executives that pleaded guilty to criminal misbranding charges, saying they misled regulators about the addiction risks of OxyContin.