Senate Panel Investigates Drug Companies

Prescription pill abuse has become such a problem in this country that a US Senate panel is now investigating various companies’ records for the past 15 years — including Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson and Endo Pharmaceuticals — that make Vicodin, OxyContin and others, due to evidence that these companies have made false accusations about the prescription pain drugs and their effectiveness, in order for the non-profit organizations with whom they’ve worked, to boost sales.

According to the Chicago Tribune, “…a February Journal Sentinel/MedPage Today story reported that a ‘network of national organizations and researchers with financial connections to the makers of narcotic painkillers helped create a body of dubious information’ favoring opioids. The information was found in prescribing guidelines, patient literature, position statements, books and doctor education courses.

The newspaper reported that the nonprofits pushed for expanded use of the drugs while taking in millions of dollars from the companies that made them.

Last year, a separate Journal Sentinel/MedPage Today story found that the UW Pain Group had been a national force in helping liberalize the way opioids are prescribed and viewed. While pushing a pharmaceutical industry agenda that critics say was not supported by rigorous science, the organization took in $2.5 million over a decade from opioid companies.”

No word yet on the outcome of these investigations, but this certainly brings like to the misuse of prescription drugs and the shady business practices that can come in between these drugs, and people who actually, medically, need them.

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