A “searing” report claims opioid drugmakers outspent the NRA 8 to 1 on lobbying efforts

Summary and Analysis…

This article summarizes a report from 2016 about the incredible spending by Big Pharma to promote opioids during the period when opioid abuse was rising. The original report, written by the AP is available at Drugmakers fought state opioid limits amid crisis.

It has relevance today because 50-state lobbying strategies costing $880 million over a nine year period do not simply fold up tend and go away. Big Pharma has been remarkably consistent in its use of tactics, non-profit front groups, direct marketing to doctors and political contributions to sell more drugs. These approaches directly relate to today’s debate about Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), the prescription and distribution of addictive drugs to those who were victimized by the last round of drug company marketing of opioids.

Excerpted from Business Insider

A searing new report from the Associated Press claims that the makers of opioid painkillers, the dangerous drugs at the center of the tragic overdose crisis, outspent the US gun lobby on lobbying and campaign contributions by 8:1.

The report looked at the period from 2006 to 2015, when deaths from the drugs began to skyrocket. Here are some of its most striking findings:

  • Opioid drugmakers including Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, spent more than $880 million, or roughly $98 million per year, on lobbying and campaign contributions that included efforts to support the drugs.
  • Drugmakers and allied advocacy groups employed a yearly average of 1,350 lobbyists in legislative centers.
  • In 2015 alone, 227 million opioid prescriptions were given out in the US, or “enough to hand a bottle of pills to nine out of every 10 American adults.”
  • Purdue Pharma, the company that makes OxyContin, made $2.4 billion from opioid sales last year alone.