McKinley: Opioid Manufacturers Must Be Held Accountable

House Energy and Commerce Expands Investigation to Opioid Manufacturers

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Washington, August 3, 2018 | comments
The House Energy and Commerce Committee announced today that it is expanding the investigation on the opioid crisis to include opioid manufacturers. The investigation had previously focused on five of the nation’s largest distributors who oversaw the shipment of large amounts of opioid pills into West Virginia, as well as the DEA’s oversight over these companies. Congressman David B. McKinley, P.E., (WV-1) has been a leader on the Committee’s investigation and had been calling for the scope to include manufacturers.
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The House Energy and Commerce Committee announced today that it is expanding the investigation on the opioid crisis to include opioid manufacturers. The investigation had previously focused on five of the nation’s largest distributors who oversaw the shipment of large amounts of opioid pills into West Virginia, as well as the DEA’s oversight over these companies. Congressman David B. McKinley, P.E., (WV-1) has been a leader on the Committee’s investigation and had been calling for the scope to include manufacturers.

“The nearly 800 million opioid pills that were shipped into small communities throughout West Virginia has wreaked havoc on our communities and contributed to our state becoming the epicenter of the opioid epidemic. Bad doctors and pharmacies running pill mills are being held accountable for their contribution to the scourge of this crisis, but the distributors and manufacturers need to accept responsibility for their role as well,” said McKinley.

“Previously, we had the distributors before the Committee and they shirked all responsibility for their part in this epidemic. This is a process and we’re now taking steps to hold the manufacturers accountable as well,” McKinley added.

Click here to read letters the Committee sent to the three opioid manufacturers.

Click here to watch a report on McKinley’s previous questioning of the opioid distributors in the Energy and Commerce Committee.

Click here to watch the full video of McKinley’s previous questioning of the opioid distributors in the Energy and Commerce Committee.

Background
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce has an ongoing investigating into the causes of the opioid crisis. In a span of two years, one pharmacy in Kermit, a town with a population of 392, received nine million opioid pills. In the past six years, 800 million opioid pills have been shipped to West Virginia, which amounts to 433 pills for every man, woman and child in the state. Rep. McKinley joined Energy and Commerce Committee leadership in a series of letters over the course of the investigation asking the DEA and drug distributors for information on these shipments. To date, the DEA has only provided heavily redacted information that didn’t address the Committee’s questions.

The three letters sent today by the Committee to Insys Therapeutics, Inc., Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, and Purdue Pharma L.P, focus on the filling of suspicious orders and potential breakdowns in the controlled substances supply chain.

McKinley has participated in six Energy and Commerce, Oversight and Investigations subcommittee hearings examining the extreme level of pill dumping that has occurred in West Virginia, and over 20 hearings on combatting the opioid epidemic. He has also hosted over 50 drug abuse roundtables throughout West Virginia’s First District.

In addition to the Energy and Commerce Committee investigation, the House of Representatives has been focusing on legislative solutions to address treatment, education, enforcement and rehabilitation.
• Allocated $4 billion to address this epidemic as part of the Bipartisan Spending Deal that passed in March. This was the largest investment ever.
• Passed 57 bills in June as part of a large legislative package to target resources to combat the opioid crisis. The legislative package included two bills offered by McKinley aimed at expanding treatment and finding alternatives to opioid for pain management. An additional eight bills cosponsored by McKinley were also included.

These bills followed previous funding measures passed by Congress:
• S. 524, the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act (CARA).
• H.R. 34, the 21st Century Cures Act.
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