Senator McCaskill reports: Opioid manufacturers gave millions to advocacy groups

Summary and Analysis…

A report issued by Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) found that five opioid manufactures made donations to advocacy groups that “amplified messages favorable to opioid use.” Senator McCaskill calls for transparency in the financial ties of the donors to these groups and their ties to opioid manufactures.

Excerpted from The Hill

A new report from Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) found that five opioid manufacturers paid nearly $9 million to 14 outside groups between 2012 and 2017, alleging that the advocacy groups often “amplified messages favorable to increased opioid use.”

The groups — many of which work on chronic pain and other opioid-related issues — lobbied to defeat prescriber limits on opioids and many criticized facets of 2016 guidelines that limited the prescribing of painkillers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to the report.

Additionally, the report noted a “lack of transparency” around the donors who give to the advocacy groups. While the groups aren’t required to disclose their donors publicly, McCaskill said that should be changed.

“The financial relationships between these groups and opioid manufacturers should be clear to the general public,” McCaskill said. “We passed a law ensuring the public had information on payments to doctors by pharmaceutical companies, and I can’t imagine why the same shouldn’t be done in this space.”