WASHINGTON, DC – President Donald Trump spoke on the “unyielding commitment” to fight the opioid crisis at the State of the Union saying, “…We will not quit until we have beaten the opioid epidemic once and for all.” Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR) shares the President’s commitment to fight this epidemic that has devastated so many communities.
Walden went on KATU – an ABC News affiliate in Oregon – to talk about an investigation into top opioid manufacturers he recently reactivated from last Congress. Walden was joined in this effort by Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Republican Leader Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Representative Morgan Griffith (R-VA).
Under Walden’s leadership, the Committee has conducted several investigations into the opioid crisis. This investigation began in August 2018 into opioid manufacturers Insys Therapeutics, Inc., Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, and Purdue Pharma L.P. and was picked back up in January to renew the lawmakers investigation into their roles in the opioid crisis.
The fight against the opioid crisis is far from over. The Committee pushed the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act – the single largest congressional effort to tackle a drug epidemic – in 2018 to help deliver much needed resources to communities. However, the bipartisan SUPPORT Act was never intended to be the last congressional push against the opioid crisis. There are 12 bills Congress could pass right now to continue fighting this epidemic. Last week, the House voted to extend the ban on fentanyl analogues. The Stop the Importation and Manufacturing of Synthetic Analogues (SIMSA) Act – one of those 12 bills Congress should pass – would also further efforts to fight fentanyl, a synthetic opioid.
Rep. Walden explains investigation into pain pill manufacturers
By: Evan Schreiber
Congressman Greg Walden is reactivating an investigation into three top pain pill manufacturers in the ongoing opioid crisis, his office announced, as several high-profile cases proceed through the courts in various states.
Walden (R- Oregon Dist. 2) is among three House GOP members who signed their names to letters sent to the companies. The letters include new questions about whether the manufacturers could have done more to slow a growing nationwide opioid epidemic and reverse the rising numbers of opioid-related deaths.
Walden was joined by representatives Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Morgan Griffith (R-VA).
OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP is the unnamed company that surfaced in criminal charging documents filed earlier this week in a probe of illegal kickbacks from drugmakers, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
John Kapoor, 76, the former chairman of Insys Therapeutics, was sentenced in Boston’s federal court after a jury found him guilty of racketeering conspiracy last May. The 10-week trial revealed sensational details about the company’s marketing tactics, including testimony that a sales executive once gave a lap dance to a doctor the company was wooing.
Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals said in a statement to The Hill that it is “reviewing the letter” from the House GOP members, including Rep. Walden, and will “work diligently to answer questions from Members of Congress.”
This investigation comes three months after Walden pressed the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and top opioid distributors for an update on recommendations of the report on pill dumping in West Virginia, Walden’s staff said in a news release.
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