Senator’s Probe Into Opioid Makers Omits Largest Manufacturer From Her Home State

A Missouri senator recently opened an investigation into the pharmaceutical industry’s role in the nation’s burgeoning opioid addiction epidemic, but notably omitted one of the biggest opioid manufacturers from the probe. The company happens to be based in her home state.
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    WASHINGTON, D.C.– With an estimated 46 people dying every single day in the United States due to overdoses of legally-acquired opiates, the nation’s painkiller abuse epidemic is becoming impossible to ignore – even for the U.S. government. In an attempt to investigate the pharmaceutical industry’s role in the explosive growth of drug abuse involving the products they manufacture, a top Senate Democrat has opened a probe into the activities of five leading opiate manufacturers based within the U.S.

    On Tuesday, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) demanded internal documents from drug manufacturers Purdue Pharma, Janssen/Johnson & Johnson, Insys, Mylan and Depomed in order to investigate the marketing practices of these corporations and determine if they knew of the dangers their products present. The documents requested include internal sales and marketing materials, addiction studies and contributions made to “independent” third-party advocacy groups that work to prevent tighter federal regulations for opiate painkillers.

    “This epidemic is the direct result of a calculated sales and marketing strategy major opioid manufacturers have allegedly pursued over the past 20 years to expand their market share and increase dependency on powerful – and often deadly – painkillers,” McCaskill wrote in her formal request to the companies. “To achieve this goal, manufacturers have reportedly sought, among other techniques, to downplay the risk of addiction to their products and encourage physicians to prescribe opioids for all cases of pain and in high doses,” she added.

    However, these five opiate manufacturers represent only 13.4 million of the more than 236 million prescriptions – less than 6 percent of the total market share – of opiates that were filled last year. Noticeably absent from McCaskill’s list is the largest opiate manufacturer in the U.S., Mallinckrodt, which had more than 43.8 million prescriptions for its opiate painkillers filled last year – a whopping 18.6 percent of the total market share.

    Upon further investigation, Mallinckrodt’s omission from the investigation seems quite dubious. Based within McCaskill’s home state of Missouri, Mallinckrodt donated 2,500 dollars to McCaskill’s campaign committee in 2015, according to a filing with the Federal Election Commission.

    While this may not seem like enough money to sway an influential U.S. senator, McCaskill’s connections to the Missouri-based Express Scripts, the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit management organization, makes this seemingly small conflict of interest much more glaring.

    Express Scripts is the third-largest contributor to McCaskill’s PAC and campaign committee, contributing a total of 108,558 dollars over the last six years. Scripts’ interest in Mallinckrodt’s omission is clear, given that they distribute the pharmaceutical company’s products. McCaskill, who will be up for re-election next year, is likely unwilling to negatively impact the finances of some of her largest donors, despite her stated commitment to investing the role of the pharmaceutical industry in the nation’s epidemic of painkiller abuse. It seems that this probe, like so many other congressional investigations, will largely serve to placate public concern regarding the predatory marketing of opiates without actually attempting to ameliorate or meaningfully investigate the issue.

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    • Brian Harris

      Controlled opposition, they will never stop peddling opioids, too much money, too much control over the junkies they created, too much campaign donations, and how else can they get white people hooked on heroin? China White has flooded America for years, hmmm see a connection?

    • PatriciaSanders54254


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    • ThorsteinVeblen2012

      $2,500 donation buys a Senator?

      That means the entire Senate could be bought for $250,000.

      Why do with have billion dollar campaigns?

    • “McCaskill, who will be up for re-election next year, is likely unwilling to negatively impact the finances of some of her largest donors, despite her stated commitment to investing the role of the pharmaceutical industry in the nation’s epidemic of painkiller abuse. “

      In a well-formed democracy the exact opposite of this statement would be true. And in a well-informed electorate, this kind of undemocratic behavior would most certainly be punished at the polls.

      • tapatio
        • I voted for Carter, like many others of my end of the Boomer gen, in some measure because we thought he’d legalize marijuana, tell the truth about the aliens/Area 51, and help us finally herald in a new utopia as we envisioned 10 years earlier. Instead…

          Even his efforts to curb our appetite for oil was forced on him by an OPEC who like Muslims today were merely reacting out of suspicion and fear to a growing US global hegemony. And Reagan made quick work of Carter’s good work in the WH. Including a new generation of gas guzzlers that’s taken us another 25 years to undue. And that primarily because the sheeple saw there gas prices getting higher and higher.

          Still, Carter probably has done more good since being in the WH than most have. Kissinger for instance only became a more hidden war and human rights criminal, while given the kind of elite notoriety one could only imagine being given in a comic book. Or on SNL.

          Such is the fortune, oftentimes, of our western politically correct corporate puppets.

          And in the above quote, he could not be no more correct in his observation, except to say when there has been a fully “functioning” democracy in this country over the last even two hundred years. The corporations led by the banking cartels have been in control a very long time. Off and on, yes, but always present. Always pressing…

          • tapatio

            Yep, I voted for Carter and have followed his work since – even got to speak to him a couple of times. Carter wasn’t really up to the presidency and, with Brzezinski as his Rasputin, he was doubly crippled in the White House.

            • “Carter wasn’t really up to the presidency”

              Peanut farmer that he was…


              • tapatio

                Carter was extremely intelligent. But, governor of Georgia didn’t quite qualify him to steer this country away from the Vietnam catastrophe and run the government.

                Brzezinski was shoved down his throat as his NSA – a skinny version of Kissinger.

      • Pat Engness

        will never vote for another democrat after this election. If i like their ideas, they better run Green/Independent…..heck, they can run Peace & Freedom Party, Libertarian…..anything But Dem. I did my part and De-Registered from the Dems to help get their numbers down below the required 15% they need to be IN the televised 2020 Debates!

        • I’m with you!

          Though I never thought about using the registration threshold as a strategy against THEM. That’s quite a challenge I’d suspect considering their numbers. Obviously the establishment-quo thinks about that with 3rd party participation, or they wouldn’t have raised the threshold over time.

          And I also vigorously agree that the name of a party is much less important than the quality of the people within it.

          How about the “Peace & Planet Party”?

    • Crow73

      She just asked Bernie-Bros to support her and not run a primary challenge. I guess the corporate shill decided she doesn’t mind a primary challenge after all.

      • James Wherry

        In a “red” state, she may very well lose, even this time around.


        • tapatio
        • James Wherry

          You know if you weren’t so mired in your own neuroticly paranoid prejudices, you might take a moment to wonder how all of us so-called anti-semitics could be so supportive of “a Jew like Jill Stein” to be our president. Or have such great admiration for a Jew like Noam Chomsky. Or watch so religiously (pun intended) Amy Goodman’s DemocracyNOW five days a week. Which I have done almost since she began in the mid 90s.

          You are onto something there, however. Even if only out of a twisted sarcastic intent. Or from the “mouths of babes” as might be said.

          We do have common enemies. Very, very dangerous enemies in fact. And the only religious aspect of those forces is in the propaganda they use it for, in order to keep us divided and fighting each other while the real enemy gobbles us up nice and slow, like a python in the afternoon sun having rabbit for dinner.

          Theirs is the religion that made Moses break the commandments upon the Jews of Egypt. The gold and power they relented to in their hunger and boredom. I mean if you believe ion that stuff.

          I sure do as far as the lessons of humanity go…

          • James Wherry

            The blanket condemnation of Jews includes all Jews. As to why “tapatio” ador s a few of them, that’s simple: he hopes they will destroy the rest.

            • Your PERSONAL problems with any single person do not justify or even give you the right to throw your own “blanket” of discrimination and judgement over another whole group of people, based on their common belief that ALL men and women are created equal. And that no one has the inherent or biblical right or jurisdiction to subjugate, enslave or otherwise “occupy” the sovereignty of another people.

              Such a personal problem is also not mine, and I do not care to be a part of it. Please do not continue to try and drag me into it.

              You want justice and respect for Israel? Strive to stop the occupation and brutality of the Palestinian people. And I say as well that the US, Britain, and the other western alliances behave no better in that regard (as with Israel it is the government and some within it, not the general population or religion that is under my scrutiny here) insofar as they support the actions of the Israeli government by providing military and monetary support that in turn only encourages settlement building and the other encroachments upon Palestinian land that the steely-eyed wordsmiths have smoke-screened against the truth for the rest of the world.

              In order to escape justice here on Earth.

              I cannot speak for what justice there may be in any afterlife that may exist. A consideration I would expect any orthodox religious person should be thinking about when they transgress or “trespass” against another people whose violence, what little there is, against their occupiers is no more or less justified than is that of the occupier.

              The important distinction to be made between the two people, starkly true though ignored by a steadily shrinking number of world governments is that one people, the Palestinians are occupied (an illegal act by all accounts) by another people run by a brutally corrupt government.

              Who in case you haven’t noticed turns on it’s own people should and when they disagree with those policies surrounding the policies of occupation and the settlements.

              I speak for myself alone. Please bear and keep that in mind.

              It could be said that no one should be free until all people are free. In such a circumstance, most anyone then might be persuaded to see the truth of slavery upon their fellow man and woman and child, to be wrong here on Earth, and in any other dimensional reality that may exist in our vast universe. In both the physical and the quantum.

              • James Wherry

                Hey, you were the one who attempted to defend himself and his fellow anti-semites.

                Like most pro-Palestinians, you make an infinite number of assumptions about my motives for supporting Israel. You can keep you own assumptions to yourself. I haven’t been to Church in 20 years, and as a gay man, suspect I wouldn’t be welcomed by most evangelical or pentecostal churches, so you can forget the “religious bigot” angle.

                I support the Nation of Israel and a Nation of Palestine – living in peace, side by side. I am not the least concerned with biblical claims to the Gaza Strip or to the West Bank. That is the land that will constitute the SECOND Palestinian ARAB state – Jordan being the first Palestinian Arab nation. I support and to all settlement construction and a negotiated settlement to that end. Your comments lead me to think you haven’t a clue what I do and do not believe or support.

                I support the nation of Isarel because I see the “100 years of Muslims acting badly” in the middle east that began with the massacre of 2 million Armenian Christians and has suffocated and brutalized Jews, Yezidi and Christians in the region. I support the nation of Israel and its right to exist because I see what the Arabs tried to do to them in 1948. 100% of all Jews were evicted from every area the Arabs took over in their illegal war – that’s what will happen, if they take over Israel. You want to trade one oppression for the other and I do not. Without a majority-Jewish nation of Israel, we see EXACTLY what Muslims would do to Israel – in Iraq, Syria, Egypt and elsewhere.

                • OK. Then we’re done?

                  • James Wherry

                    Darling, say it isn’t so! Please don’t leave me, LoL!

                    Seriously, though: I’m happy to defend Israel’s existence, simply not all of its policies. Same for the Palestinian Authority. Glad it exists, sorry it does a lot of the things it does.

                • And for the record. Your being gay is just fine with me. To each their own. In a free world, all people have such rights. The only reservations should be when people try to enslave or otherwise force their beliefs on others. Only in voluntary submission to the concept of equality in law, both manmade and natural can we all be free to choose our own paths.

                  If you are being maligned because of sexual bigotry, you have my support in that regard to defend yourself. And do not mistake my agreement on some topic or the other with anyone to be construed as total agreement in all regards on every topic with any one person, or even a group of persons. OK?

                  • James Wherry

                    Thank you. Yes, I’ve had tons of people on this website – people who have NO love for Israel – express the same thing.

                    I doubt I would post as much, if a blatant anti-Semite and homophobe like “tapatio” hadn’t decided to nest here. He isn’t “anti-Zionist:” he purely hates Jews, gays and anyone who disagrees with him.

    • tapatio

      Honest politicians are about as common as dentists for chickens.