Using their widespread political influence, pharmaceutical companies have been promoting a new generation of drugs as their answer to the nation’s opioid crisis. Their so-called abuse-deterrent formulations have not been shown conclusively to reduce overdoses or deaths related to prescription painkillers but are extremely lucrative for the industry.
The Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity examine the industry’s attempts to promote the drugs with state governments, Congress and federal regulatory agencies. The resulting package, Politics of Pain-Pharma’s New Formula, will move for immediate use at 5 a.m. Eastern on Thursday, Dec. 15. It is a follow-up to a series of stories about the political influence of the opioid industry that moved earlier in the year.
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POLITICS OF PAIN-PHARMA’S NEW FORMULA
With American communities still reeling from an epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse, pharmaceutical companies are aggressively pushing their preferred answer to the problem: a new generation of harder-to-manipulate drugs that are racking up billions in sales but aren’t proven to reduce rates of overdoses and deaths. More than prescriptions are at stake: Critics worry the drugmakers’ nationwide lobbying campaign is distracting from more productive solutions and delaying crucial efforts to steer physicians away from prescription opioids _ addictive pain medications involved in the deaths of 165,000 Americans since 2000. By Geoff Mulvihill, Matthew Perrone and Liz Essley-White. 2,500 words. Photos.
_ BC-US--Politics of Pain-Pharma’s New Formula-Key Findings.
_ BC-US--Politics of Pain-About This Project.
POLITICS OF PAIN-PHARMA’S NEW FORMULA-COSTS
Taxpayers could shoulder millions in new medication costs under drugmaker-backed efforts to rewrite state and federal laws to favor higher-priced, reformulated painkillers. Industry critics worry that the focus on revamped painkillers is funneling money away from other strategies needed to tame the nation’s drug epidemic. 700 words.
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