Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
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Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
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Senator expands opioid probe to more drug makers, wholesalers

Senator expands opioid probe to more drug makers, wholesalers | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Top Senate Democrat is expanding a probe into the opioid crisis by asking four more drug makers, as well as the nation’s largest pharmaceutical distributors, for a raft of information.

In a series of letters, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) wants the companies to explain the steps they have taken to mitigate the opioid epidemic, particularly monitoring suspicious orders and preventing the diversion of the prescription painkillers. The letters were sent to Teva Pharmaceuticals, Allergan, Endo International, and Mallinckrodt, along with Cardinal Health, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen.

“We’ve seen numerous reports that potentially hundreds of millions of opioid pills wound up on the black market, fueling a nationwide epidemic,” McCaskill said in a statement.

 

We need a better understanding of how committed these companies are to preventing this type of drug diversion or whether they are turning a blind eye.

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Opioid Drug Maker Mallinckrodt Spends Big Lobbying Lawmakers About Opioids

Opioid Drug Maker Mallinckrodt Spends Big Lobbying Lawmakers About Opioids | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Two federal investigations — one examining opioid sales, another about a multiple sclerosis drug whose price had soared to $34,000 a vial — were only part of the troubles Mallinckrodt faced as the year began.

The stock of the drug maker, whose United States headquarters are in St. Louis, was tanking. Wall Street worried that Medicare might reduce the half-billion dollars it was spending yearly on a Mallinckrodt drug with limited evidence of effectiveness.

This year, the company left the industry trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, after the group threatened to kick out companies that did not spend enough on research.

Mallinckrodt, however, has been increasing its spending in another area: It has been writing checks to politicians.

After making meager donations in 2015, the company’s political action committee began raising its contributions for congressional campaigns last year. Lawmakers in both the House and Senate collected $44,000 from Mallinckrodt in 2017’s first quarter, nearly nine times what they got from the company in the same period two years ago.

Mallinckrodt also spent $610,000 lobbying Congress, triple the amount of 2015’s first quarter. The company, which makes pain-control drugs as well as H. P. Acthar, an injectable gel prescribed for multiple sclerosis and other diseases, has lobbied on issues related to opioids, patents, Medicare and other matters, regulatory filings show.

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