President Trump Signs Opioids Package into Law, Includes McCaskill Priorities to Curb Illegal Flow of Fentanyl, Address Opioid Epidemic

Senator’s proposals aimed at cracking down on shipments of fentanyl, bringing down overprescriptions, and providing oversight and accountability to Medicare programs

WASHINGTON – Continuing her work to deliver results for Missourians, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill today applauded President Trump signing into law a bipartisan opioids package that includes many of her provisions aimed at addressing the opioid epidemic.

“Cracking down on illegal shipments of fentanyl that are flooding our streets, reducing overdoses, and preventing prescription shoppers—these are all things that will save lives in Missouri—and this effort is further proof that when we work together across the aisle, we can get real results,” McCaskill said. “And while this is a step in the right direction, there’s so much more work to be done, so I’ll be keeping up the fight for all the Missouri families and communities that have been torn apart by this epidemic.”

Included in the legislation was the McCaskill-backed bipartisan STOP Act of 2018, which has earned the support of President Trump, that would crack down on the illegal shipment of fentanyl into the country. Additional McCaskill-backed proposals included in the legislation would seek to decrease overprescriptions of opioids in Medicare, authorize additional overdose prevention grants to strengthen local prescription drug monitoring programs, and encourage greater use of prescribing guidelines. The legislation would also expand training and resources for first responders, and provide better tools for doctors working to prevent and treat opioid misuse in pregnant women.

McCaskill also launched an investigation into opioid manufacturers last year—the most comprehensive Congressional investigation into the crisis to date—when she requested information related to sales and marketing materials, internal addiction studies, details on compliance with government settlements and donations to third party advocacy groups from major opioid manufacturers. Later, she expanded her investigation, requesting documents and information from opioid manufacturers Mallinckrodt, Endo, Teva, and Allergan, while a request to McKesson Corporation, AmerisourceBergen Corporation, and Cardinal Health, Inc., focused on their distribution of opioid products.

In September of last year, McCaskill announced the first round of findings, detailing systemic manipulation of the prior authorization process by Insys Therapeutics. Earlier this year in February, McCaskill’s investigation released another round of findings, exposing the financial ties between opioid manufacturers and third party groups, who often lobbied for pro-opioid policies after receiving contributions from pharmaceutical companies. In July, McCaskill released another report as part of her investigation into opioid manufacturers and distributors, documenting how the “Big Three” pharmaceutical distribution companies together shipped around 1.6 billion dosage units of opioid products to Missouri alone between 2012 and 2017. Last week, McCaskill released her fourth round of findings, which detail Insys’ aggressive use of compensation programs to boost sales for its fentanyl product Subsys.

Visit mccaskill.senate.gov/opioid-investigation to learn more about McCaskill’s investigation.

 

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